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tv   Public Affairs  CSPAN  January 24, 2013 12:30pm-5:00pm EST

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constituent, teresa, so if you need something today, i hope you call us. >> she needs a vote for me. >> i think that will be forthcoming as well. a couple of issues i wanted to focus on two places, really three questions. one is afghanistan, the sec is pakistan. with regard to afghanistan, i wanted to ask you about the first question relates to president karzai and the leches ahead of them. when he was here just a couple of weeks ago, i had the chance to visit with him in leader mcconnel's office and a number of senators as well. and to ask him directly about the elections and ask him about my second question. but i wanted to get your sense of where you see those lexes going. what efforts you can undertake to make sure that they are free and fair because they've been, i
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think, central to the next chapter in this transition. i just wanted to comment on that. the second question as it relates to afghanistan is one that senator boxer raised and her work on this has been exemplary, on women and girls and in particular, i have a -- an amendment that we got through the national defense authorization act which would require both state and defense to file a report on the efforts to promote the security of afghan women and girls just by way of itemization monitoring and responding to changes in women's security that will be part of the report. secondly, improving gender sensitivity and responsiveness among the afghan security forces and increasing the recruitment and retention of women in the afghan security forces. so both with regard to the election and women and girls. >> senator with respect to women and girls, i had a conversation
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with senator boxer earlier and with senator cardin, in which i committed to the ongoing significant efforts of secretary -- that secretary clinton has invested in. we will continue to have the ambassador and special office, two different things, within the state department, but more importantly we think that there can't be an effective peace, and won't be, in afghanistan if we can't hold on to the gains and continue them, continue the progress that's being made with respect to women's participation in afghan society. and so we remain committed to that. i'll work in every way possible to augment what i've had a number of people who have made suggestions to me, i won't go into all of them now because of time but they're exciting, there are people who want to be
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involved in this endeavor, inspired by what secretary clinton and the ambassador in that role have done. now in the elections, there is a group within the american initiative within our effort in kabul, in afghanistan, working very hard on the sort of rules of the road for the election and working with the afghan election commission. they're working right now on some of the computer programming and other things that are necessary in order to be able to guarantee that the voting lists are up and accurate and available. there have been meetings with potential candidates for president with the opposition folks and others in afghanistan. in an effort to be inclusive and transparent in the process. and i think president karzai knows. i've said this personally to him. i've said it publicly in a press conference in departure from
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kabul and aye said it here in the senate as chairman, that having a -- an acceptable election, not going to be perfect, not going to be able to have perfection in this process, for a lot of different reasons. but having an election that passes muster and is acceptable according to international observers and standards, will be critical to our ability to have the kind of transition we want to have and to have confidence that the government that succeeds in 2014 has legitimacy. if it doesn't have legitimacy if we don't succeed in that effort, it's going to be very, very difficult to convince the american people and convince our allies to stay engaged in this effort if they're not willing to provide for themselves with respect to that. i went through this personally with president karzai in the
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last election where there was -- there were serious questions about the propriety of process and we have to sort of strike the compromise about it. i don't think there'll be room for a compromise in the aftermath here. this is a very, very important initiative. i will certainly make sure that we're riding herd on it very, very closely. >> thank you. secondary -- secondly, with regard to a terribly difficult challenge we have with regard to the i.e.d.'s that are constructed somewhere between pakistan and afghanistan, but become the roadside bombs that have kill sod many of our troops, the leading cause of death, and wounded so many as well, we know that there's a legal impediment in afghanistan, doesn't do us much good buzz of the calcium ammonium nitrate that comes across the borders from pakistan. this has been not just horrific
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to watch but terribly frustrating when i go to pakistan three times and in the last visit, as you have made numerous trips, telling the pakistani leaders, we need you to help is with this, not only -- not only to help r.g.i.'s but to protect your own people and they promise and they promise and they talk about a great plan and a strategy and it's so far completely inadequate, their response. i know you've worked on this, secretary clinton has. i want to get your sense of how we can make progress on that to use every bit of diplomacy, engagement, whatever it is to insist that the government of pakistan take steps which are readily identifiable to reduce this flow of -- it was really fertilizer that becomes -- >> senator casey, let me say quickly, you've been a terrific leader on it and paid a lot of
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attention to this and it's made a difference and it is frustrating. i've had those conversations, i've had them at the highest level with president sadari, general pasha when he was there as the intel chief, i have not been back to pakistan in the last year or so for a number of different reasons but i have been in touch with the general before i was nominated and he and i look forward to having conversations, as i do with the president and the civilian leadership and see if we can't find a metric here that works for both of us. because we have to. and i will go into the intel here, you know full well, there's no question about whether it's being produced, where it's coming from or how, and it has to be one of those things that we see greater cooperation on. >> senator mccain. >> thank you.
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again, thank you for allowing me the honor of introducing you to the committee and i look forward to many of our spirited conversations that we have had for many years. i didn't want to bring it up but since it was brought up, i have to respond again. americans do care. they do care. they do care why four americans were murdered and they do care why the american people were misled. they were misled by the talking points that the sec -- that secretary rice told the american people which were false. they were misled when the information that we needed to know about how those talking points were put together, which we still don't know the answers to, many months later. we were misled when it was -- when we were not allowed to -- when we don't -- still haven't
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gotten answers why there was not better security at the consulate when there was clear indications of the threat. we were misled when we were not told that there was a request for the 16-member security force to remain at the consulate and were removed. the list goes on and gone. -- on and on. we still haven't gotten the answers as to what happened with benghazi for and anyone to say we don't care what happened is absolutely false and i can tell you that because i talked to the families of those who were murdered. and we will, for some of the us, we will continue our efforts to find out the answers to these questions, the american people deserve them, including why the president of the united states after alleging in a debate with mitt romney, said that he had called it a terrorist act when in fact he hadn't. in fact that same day he did an interview with cbs news saying he didn't know what happened.
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probably two weeks later, he told various news programs he didn't know what was the cause of it. we knew what the cause of it was. we knew that people don't bring r.p.g.'s and mortars to spontaneous demonstrations. so we -- smor us -- some of us will not give up on this despite what some in the media think we should do until we get all the answers. i was hanging on every word you were saying, john. i happened to glance at my apps, here's a bbc news reports. -- report. it says the u.n. says numbers of syrian refugees arriving in jordan putting a considerable strain on the resources. the u.n. h.c.r. said that more than 26,500 refugees have crossed into jordan since january 1. officials said up to 3,000 were
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arriving every day and 50,000 were waiting to cross. that happens to be the camp that we visited. that happens to be the camp where just a few days before there was a very bad storm and these tents were blown down and there was riots and demonstrations and anger and frustration. and the belief that we're not helping them. the anger that we felt when a young woman who is a teacher said this next generation of children will take revenge on those that did not help them. we are sowing the wind in syria, we're going to reap the whirlwind that whirlwind will be the increase of -- increased presence of al qaeda and islamist groups which are now flooding into syria, as you know. 60,000 dead and counting and the fall of assaad is, quote,
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inevitable. you know that assaad is thinking about plambings b -- plan b, going to the coast and doing ethnic cleansing. i appreciate your optimism about the russians. the russians continue to supply him with arms, the russians continue to veto every single resolution that might do something about syria and of course putin has just enacted one of the most inhumane laws in preventing americans from adopting russian children who clearly have -- are now deprived of an opportunity to have a better life. i don't think the status quo in syria is something we just need to have some more conversations about. i think we ought to tell the syrian people that we're either going to help them or we're not. we know that a no-fly zone and we know the supply of arms so that they can defend themselves to counter the arms that are being provided by the iranians and the iranian revolutionary guard on the ground and there's
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no hundreds of thousands of refugees that are putting the strain on our allies. i've had a lot of conversations. we've had a lot of hearings. we haven't done anything. we've got, again, 60,000 dead and after 22 months and all i get, frankly, from the administration is the fall of assaad is, quote, inevitable. i agree. what about what happens in the meantime? i hope that you, and i know you are deeply concerned about that situation. it's terrible. it's heartbreaking. to meet a group of young women as i sid in -- as i did in a camp in turkey, a refugee camp, who has been gang raped is a horrible experience. and we can do a lot more without putting american boots on the ground.
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we can prevent this further slaughter and massacre and inhumanity. otherwise we will be judged very, very harshly by history. i hope that -- i know from our previous conversations that you will make this your highest priority. i look forward to at least exploring and try to implement a different policy than the one that we have pursued for the last 22 months. thank you. >> well, john, thank you. i have, and you know this because you and i have talked about this at great length. i have complete understanding of where you're coming from on this, i know your frustration and what you're trying to say about it. i do want to just say to you that i don't want inquisitiveness or curiosity about what possibilities might exist with the russians to be
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translated into optimism. i don't have optimism. i have hope. because the easiest way to resolve it would be if they were to be table help -- if -- if together we were able to find some track that changed the equation and the calculation of assaad. what i think everybody worried about, john, is that if you have a complete implosion of the state, nobody has clear definitions of how you put those pieces back together, number one, and number two, you have a much greater risk with respect to the chemical weapons. now, that's why i want to get in and see what the contingency plans are. because i can't measure risk without having a sense of what's on the table.
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what i do know is that there are a lot of weapons there. there are people in the gulf, and you know who they are, who are not hesitating to provide weapons. and that's one of the reasons together with the fact that al nusra has been introduced to the equation, that the movement on the ground is faster than the movement in the power. that's what make this is very complicated. and i'm deadly serious when i say to you, we're going to have to sit down, there's nothing we need more than congressional consensus. to we can build it on something like this, particularly if the worst happens and you have, you know, disintegration. there are other forces at play that none of us have been in control of. one of the things that has struck me in the last year, the more i traveled to the region and talked to people is the depth of the sectarian divide
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and you know it well. sunni, shia, considerations enter deeply into lots of judgments out there. so we have to be particularly -- and then others. you've got 74% of syria is sunni. is muslim. you've got about 16% made up of the alowite and shia. christians are about 10%, jews about 3%. you have this breakdown with interests in various parts of the country and i know one of the scenarios everybody is talking about is people could break up off into their places, the kurds could be in the northeast and you could have a disintegration and who knows where that leads. these are the risks. this is what is at stake in this new world that we're dealing with. and nobody could sit here and
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tell you how it all plays out. but we're going to have to get our heads together regardless of party and think about the interests of the united states of america, think about the region, think about the interests of the neighbors. think about the interests of our friends like israel, and figure out how we come up with an equation that is workable and meets those interests. now final comment, john, i don't want to go on about it. but i didn't suggest and i don't want to suggest, nor do i believe that secretary clinton was saying that people don't care about knowing what happened. i think she's talking about the difference between what the recommending as of the a.r.b. were and implementing them and this notion that we have to go backwards. but here's what i say to to you. after 29 years here, in my 29th, i respect the prerogatives of
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the united states senate and the members of congress, you represent the american people, you're the other branch of government, you have the right to know what took place. and i have an obligation commensurate with the, you know, regulations and classifications and privacy and other things at play here, to help you get the answers and we'll do that. i hope we can do it in a noncontentious, appropriate way. >> thank you. could i just mention, i think you would aee with me that every day that goes by in syria, it gets worse. so there is, it seems to me, a very strong impetus that we realize that the present policy is not succeeding and to look at other options to prevent what is going on for now 22 months and 60,000 dead. >> but i think you would agree
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with me that whatever judgments you make, they have to pass the test of whether or not, you do them, they're actually going to make things better. >> absolutely. >> you have to make a test of the cost analysis in doing that. and i mean all kinds of cos. human life costs, treasure, effect on other countries. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. john, thank you for being here. teresa, great to see you and the family here as well. a question from our mutual friend john mccain is not unexpected, he promised it and delivered it. but i do recall his opening comments introducing you and it brought me back to my first days in the senate when you and john mccain, vietnam veterans, workled together in a noble task to establish normal relations with vietnam which continue to this day and to deal with the controversial, contentious issue
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of p.o.w.'s and m.i.a.'s. i came here as a brand new senator, on behalf of pete peterson, the congressman from florida, who had been named first ambassador to vietnam by president clinton, pete peterson himself a five-year prisoner of war as an air force pilot and you two did an extraordinary job moving him forward and giving him the chance to serve. thank you for reminding me of that chapter in my public clear and what you and john kerry accomplished together. i want to talk about the role of the united states, it is called upon to negotiate, to make it safer. certainly since world war ii, it has involved nuclear weapons and it does to this day as we discussed the future of nuclear entrance like, god forbid, iran intoork the nuclear club, which
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we don't want to see happen. we also know there came a new threat, terrorism, in a different form. biological and chemical weapons. organizations that attacked the united states and killed innocent people. but it was, i think last year or the year before, that we were briefed by the state department, department of defense, about the greatest threat to security in the united states and it wasn't either of those things. it was cybersecurity. i think you may have attended the brief, the classified briefing for members of the senate. democrats and republicans. they explained to us this invisible war that goes on even as we meet between the united states and many who are not our friends that are trying to invade us, invade our infrastructure, invade our technology, and do great harm to us. not just in economic terms, but in terms of human life.
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and we are told this is the most serious threat facing us today. it brings to mind the fact that in the 21st century, war as we know it is much different. it is a war involving the invisible workings of computers. it is a war involving drones and aircraft. so i'd like to, if -- i'd like you, if you could, to just reflect on this in term os they have role of the secretary of state of the united states and negotiations to make us safer in the world where cybersecurity is our greatest threat. >> senator, that's a huge question. you hit the nail on the head with respect to a significant threat. as you know, there's legislation, or there was legislation, last year which we tried to get through here which would have helped us, a very small step, incidentally, in trying to deal with this issue. much of this, as you know, is classified. so it's hard, to lay it out in
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full before the american people. every day while we sit here right now, certain countries are attacking our systems. they are trying to hack in to classified information, to various agencies of our government, to banking strucktures, money has been stolen from accounts and moved in large sums from entities. there's a long list of grievances with respect to what this marvel of the internet and the technology age has brought us. but it's threatening. it is threatening to our power grid. it's threatening to our communications. it's threatening to our capacity to respond. and there are people out there who know it and there are some countries that we're currently engaged with and all the senators know who they are, who have a very good understanding of this power and who are pursuing it. so it is sort of the modern day,
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i guess i'd call it the 1st century nuclear weapons equivalent. we are going to have to engage in cyberdiplomacy and cybernegotiations. and try to establish rules of the road that help us to be able to cope with this challenge. now, there are enormous difficulties ahead in that because as you know, and i'll just try to be very brief about it, i think most diplomacy is an extension of a particular nation's interests and in some cases it's an extension of their values. sometimes you get a terrific opportunity to mix the two and you really can do things that meet all your aspirations. but sometimes, you know, you're more weighted toward the
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interest than the values. you can all pick different countries and different things we've done that meet that. this is one where we're going to have to find a way to address the interests of other states. to find common ground, if that makes sense to you. we're just going to have to dig into it a lot deeper. i don't have a imagine exsilver bullet to throw at you here today. >> i wanted to bring it up because i think it's topical and timely in terms of our 21st century challenge. when you become secretary of state, which i believe you will and hope you will, this will be front and center. i would also like to come down to a much more mundane issue i raised before with current secretary and that is the impact of sequestration on the department of state. we are literally weeks away from mandated budget cuts within the department of state. we have spent yesterday and even again today talking about security at our embassies,
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consulates and for men and women who risk their lives to represent america. so i would just ask you in closing that you would try to, as soon as you can, prereport to us about the impact of these cuts on our state department which has a very small percentage of our budget but is going to feas some substantial cuts because of the sequestration requirements. >> i'm glad you raise it. we're going to have to talk about it. i just signal to my colleagues that yesterday at a hearing, in which two very distinguished people with basis of the report on which you are having the hearing, the a.r.b., admiral mullen and secretary pickering said we need $1.2 billion or more to be able to do what we need to do for security. if you want the american presence out there and you want to provide adequate protection so we're not here for another
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benghazi hearing, so that's why i say we have to get our business done and do it the right way. one final comment -- no, i'll wait until we come to the budget and do it then. >> thank you, mr. chairman. yesterday with secretary clinton i asked about the administration's assertion that al qaeda had been decimated. she said what we're seing is people who have migrated back to other parts of the world where they came from, primarily bhor affiliates, part of the jihaddist syndicate. some like al qaeda in magrab use that name others use different names. she said the fact is, they're terrorists, they are extremists, they have designs on overthrowing existing governments. she said we do have to contend with the wannabes and afill yats going forward. i ask your assessment on the strength today of al qaeda, thecy afill yats and the
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challenges it presents to you as secretary of state. >> it's very real but i agree pleatly with the statement -- with secretary clinton's statement and appraisal, when we talk about core al qaeda, we are talking about the al qaeda that took us to afghanistan and pakistan. that core al qaeda. those are the people who attacked the united states of america and those are the people that we aproved -- approved military action against i think unanimously in the united states congress in 2001. now they have migrated. if you go to the intel, i think this is unclassified, i know it's unclassified, osama bin laden in the documents that came out of abad abad is quoted as urging his cohorts to go other places, get away from the
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airplanes and get away from the drones and he specifically told al qaeda to disperse and they did. in addition to that, we have been, the obama administration, under the directive of the president, who undertook the most concentrated effort in history in terms of targeting a specific terrorist group. we have taken out huge proportion of the leadership of core al qaeda. a huge proportion. you don't want to be number three or number four in line in that business because they're disappearing as fast as they get the job. . the top dog who took the place of osama bin laden is still at large, but i think there are those in the intelligence community and the administration who believe that over the course of the next months that core al
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qaeda can really be almost degraded to the point that that is no longer the threat. the threat has augmented in al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, al qaeda in iraq, which is now playing in syria and al qaeda in the mahgab. and that's why the president has made the decision to support the efforts of the french in mali, and that's there has been a focused effort including after them in yemen to focus on that part of the world. there is a success story as i talk about that increased threat, somalia. in somalia where they became associated with al qaeda, we have been able in concert with others, not alone, to drive them
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back and see a government emerge, which we now recognize and which we're in a position to help hopefully stabilize and move to a better relationship. we can change these things, but takes a focused effort and perseverance. doesn't happen overnight, but it takes something more than just the drone effort and the other effort. it takes that effort to develop a government like we did in somalia. we have to be prepared to do that. >> we talked yesterday about bringing to justice the killers who attacked our people on september 11 and the president said he would bring those killers to justice. the fact that hasn't happened, do you think that has emboldend the recent attacks? >> i can't get into anybody's
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mind what they do or don't know or perceive about it. i'll tell you this, if so, it's going to be short lived, because i know from talking to the f.b.i. director that they are pursuing that diligently. he was personally just in libya. meeting on this and those efforts are going to continue. and i know that this president -- you know, he doesn't bluff about these kinds of things. he has said they are going to pay a price and said he would go into pakistan if we had evidence to operate on and i'm confident when and if we are prepared, we will execute with respect to finding justice for what happened in benghazi. >> the keystone xl pipeline and senator boxer said, it wouldn't belong before it crossed your desk. a bipartisan group of senators
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signed on to a letter to president obama requesting that he approve the construction of the pipeline. we are asking that the review process be completed by the end of march and i hope you will be able to comply with that. >> i will try. i need to check in with the legal department and make sure -- i don't want to make a promise that i'm unaware of what can be fulfilled. i can tell you this. it's happening in the appropriate due course of business and we'll try to get it done as soon as we can. >> i had a chance to visit with former senator sam nunn and you have to think what's important for the united states and humanitarian issue as we look at limited resources. climate change is a big issue you have been concerned on. the global energy needs are going to increase about 50%, that emissions are going to go up significantly primarily
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because of china and india and we could do significant harm to the u.s. economy i think by putting additional rules and regulations with very little impact on the global climate. in this tight budget environment with so many competing american priorities, i would ask you to give considerable thought into limiting significantly resources that would not help us as an economy, not help us as a country and not help us globally in perhaps the efforts you might be pursuing. i don't know if you have specific thoughts. >> i do. i have a lot of specific thoughts on it more than we have time now. and i'm not going to abuse that privilege. but i will say this to you, the solution to climate change is energy policy. and the opportunities of energy policy so vastly outweigh the
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downsides that you are expressing concern about, and i will spend a lot of time trying to persuade you and other colleagues of this. you want to do business and do it well in america, we got to get into the energy race. other countries are in it. i can tell you, massachusetts, fastest growing sector of our economy is clean energy and energy efficiency companies. and they're growing faster than any other sector. the same is true in california. this is a job creator. i can't emphasize that strongly enough. the market that made america rich, richer, we have always been rich, but the market that made us richer in the 1990's was the technology market. it was $1 trillion market with one billion users. and we created greater wealth in america that has been created even in the raging time of no income tax and the morgans and
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mellons and carnegie and rockefellers. we created more wealth for everyone. so we can do this recognizing that the energy market is a $6 trillion market compared to one with what, four billion users going up to nine billion over the course of the next 20, 30 years. this is a place for us to recognize what other countries are doing and what our states that are growing are doing, which is there is an extraordinary amount of opportunity in modernizing america's energy grid. we don't even have a grid in america. we have a big open gap in the circle of america. east coast grid, west coast grid and texas grid and a line from
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chicago over to the dakotas. we can't sell energy from minnesota to arizona or arizona to massachusetts or to the coal states. it doesn't make sense and can't be a modern country if we don't fix that infrastructure. i would respectfully say to you that climate change is not something to be feared in response to -- the steps to respond to -- it's to be feared if we don't. 3,500 communities in our nation last year broke records for heat. we had a rail that because of the heat bent and we had a derailment because of it. we had record fires. we had record levels of damage from sandy, $70 billion. if we can't see the downside of spending that money and risking lives for all the changes that are taking place, to agriculture, to our communities, the ocean and so forth, we are ignoring what science is telling
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us. i will be a passionate advocate on this not based on ideology but based on facts and science. and i hope to sit with all of you and convince you that this $6 trillion market is worth millions of american jobs and we better go after it. >> to my good friend senator barrasso, wyoming is a producer state, new mexico is also a producer state and i found the same experience that senator kerry has talked about in massachusetts, in new mexico, the fastest growing sector these renewable jobs. so i think it's a big opportunity for us. we should be pursuing it. i agree with what he just said and i hope we can work with each other, because we should try to pull together and discuss the facts and really pursue this
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sector that is going to be so vital to the future and vital to job growth. but john, great to have you here. you have really earned this. no doubt about this. great to see theresa and vanessa and i saw the cutest grandchild i have seen in a long time. i said are you going to bring him in and they said no. no. he was going to wait outside. >> he's shy. in my observation here, in my short period on the foreign relations committee, i think a great deal of what good foreign policy about is building personal relationships and building personal relationships with leaders around the world. and the one thing that i've really observed, senator kerry, of you is that you have done that. and we have had so many of these
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private meetings across over there in the capitol and in the small foreign relations room and i could just feel with meeting with all these leaders, the tremendous respect that they have for you and the ability you are going to have to build on that to make an excellent secretary of state. so i'm very excited about this opportunity for you and i want, in my first question here i wanted to focus on mexico and central america. during the last decade, relations between the united states and mexico have strengthened as a result of our shared security goals relating to the initiative. and one of the pillars of that initiative includes judicial reform and you know this very well. however, the federal government and many of the mexican states have yet to pass legislation which would change their
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judicial system from a questioning system to an add veer salary system. i had a lot of experience with that. we would meet every six months with mexican states and they asked us to loan people to them to help train them in the adversarial system. how can the u.s. better work with our neighbors in mexico to improve transparency, efficiency and the quality of the judicial system and improve this transition they are trying to make to an adversarial system? >> first of all, thank you for your generous comments. i very much appreciate them and i appreciate working with you on a lot of these issues. we are engaged now, and you know this -- there are ongoing efforts with respect to the justice system. there has been a lot of focus on guns and narcotics and so forth
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and there has been a shift of policy within mexico. the president was recently there for meetings and my hope was that we can keep -- i mean, i want to keep the existing efforts going, which could become subject to the sequestration and budget efforts. i guess we are going to have to convince our colleagues of the importance of these kinds of initiatives actually taking root and having the willingness to stay at them until we do get more results. mexico has been under siege. and everybody knows that and it's been very, very difficult. a lot of courage exhibited by military folks and the police. i think there's an effort to move it somewhat away from the military and more into the justice system, which is why we are going to have to double our
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efforts here and make sure we're funding the personnel and the program itself. i will work with that. but we need the cooperation up here to get that kind of commitment. >> great. thank you very much. as you know, the new president of mexico stated that his strategy with regards to security cooperation is to achieve a mexico in peace, is what he calls it, and that his government will not abandon the fight against organized crime. how will you work to ensure that areas of mute tall interests between the two countries get the attention they deserve and how we get that cooperation along the border. that seems to me that is absolutely crucial, cooperation along the border. they have six border states. we have four and it's crucial that we work with each other on that. >> well, the president of mexico
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is trying to move this as i said in a different direction. this has been a very violent initiative over the last years. i'm a former prosecutor and you are a former attorney general. i was the chief administrative prosecutor in one of the 10 largest counties in america. i love prosecuting. it was a great job. we created a drug task force and had all kinds of plans for how to proceed to minimize the impact of narcotics on our communities. and one of the things i learned is that there's no one approach. you've got to be doing everything that you need to do. and that means domestically in the united states, you have to do education and you got to do treatment, because what we have is just a revolving circle of demand and we are not alone.
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europe is a huge demand, russia now increasing demand. cocaine routes and marijuana routes are not just coming up from colombia and other countries and latin america and the caribbean up to here, but going across the atlantic and going to other countries and comes from asia. it is pandemic. so i think we need a more comprehensive approach, one where it is less finger pointing and you work cooperatively to understand everybody's role in trying to do something about it. i have always felt that this label of war on drugs, is kind of artificial, because war implies is it's all out and you have to win. and i don't think it's all been out. and principally because we have failed to do our part in
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education, and abstinence. we have to engage ourselves and that would help establish credibility and viability with other countries. >> thank you very much for those answers. >> senator paul. >> senator kerry, thanks for coming today and your testimony. i agree with candidate barack obama who said in 2007 that the president doesn't have the power under the constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack. do you agree with candidate barack obama or do you agree with president obama who took us to war in libya without congressional authority unilaterally? >> senator paul, one of the things this committee has spent a lot of time is on the war powers act which i support. and i believe in congressional authority to go to war. i have argued that on occasion
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with respect to some things here, but there are occasions which i have supported where a president of the united states has to make a decision immediately and implement that decision, execute on it immediately. i supported ronald reagan when he sent troops into grenada and i supported president bush when he sent troops into panama and i supported president clinton when he did what needed to be done in bosnia and kosovo and so forth. i think the president behaved in that tradition. >> i would argue that the constitution has no exceptions for when you are having a tough time or people disagree with you that you just go ahead and do it. after vietnam, you were cite i -- critical of the bombing in
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cambodia. has your opinion changed about cambodia? >> nor did my opinion changed about the war in vietnam. >> is cambodia different than libya? >> it is, because it was an extension of the war that was being prosecuted without the involvement of congress after a number of years. that's very different -- >> length of time, but similar circumstances. a bombing campaign unauthorized by congress. the constitution doesn't give us the latitude to go to war or not go to war. people -- rand paul didn't like anything about barack obama, i like when he ran for office and said no president shouldn't go to war unilaterally. the constitution doesn't allow it. >> the problem is, it just
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doesn't work in some instances when 10,000 people are to be wiped out by a brutal dictator and need to make a quick judgment about engagement, you can't rely on a congress that has proven itself unwilling to move after weeks and months. >> you think a u.n. resolution sufficient to go to war? >> no. i think a u.n. resolution -- when you say sufficient to go to war? i think a u.n. resolution is a necessary ingredient to provide the legal basis for military action in an emergency. it is not by any means sufficient to require the united states to do something, because we obey our constitution and our interests and our rights. >> you have heard president morsi's comments about zionists being blood suckers and
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descendents of apes and pigs. do you think it's great to send tanks? >> those comments are reprehensible. and those comments set back the possibilities of working towards neutral -- issues of mute tall interests. they are degrading comments and unacceptable by anybody's standard and i think they have to be appropriately apologized for. let me just finish. >> they are not going to change their behavior. >> president morrisy has issued two statements to clarify those comments. and we had a group of senators who met with him the other day who spent a good part of their conversation in relative heated conversation about it. but not everything -- you know this is always the complication in dealings in the international
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sector. not everything lends itself to a simple clarity, black, white, this, that every time. we have critical interests with egypt. critical interests with egypt. egypt has thus far supported and lived by the peace agreement with israel. israel -- and has taken steps to begin to deal with the problem of security in the sinai. those are vital to us and to our national interests and to the security of israel. in addition to that, they have followed through on the promise to have an election. >> i know things aren't black and white -- >> they have had an election. they had a constitutional promise. there is another election that is coming up shortly for the lower house. the fact that sometimes other
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countries elect somebody that you don't completely agree with doesn't give us permission to walk away from their election. >> but this has been our problem with foreign policy for decades. we funded bin laden and the radical jihad because they were the enemy of our enemy. i have seen weapons coming back and support for syrian rebels. i see problems with this. >> as you know, senator, in any of the arms sales that united states is engaged in in that part of the world, there is a measured test that is applied with respect to a difference in any of those weapons with respect to israel's defense and security. and we do not sell weapons and will not sell weapons that might upset that balance. >> we sell f-16's to egypt. sounds like we are fueling an
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arms race. why not sell weapons to israel's enemies. >> better yet, until we are at that moment where that might be achievable, maybe it would be better to try to make peace. >> one final question, would you consider supporting conditioning aid to pakistan on the release of the doctor? if we don't support informants who support us, i'm afraid we won't get many more informants. >> i have talked directly to the president and to the general about the doctor. and like most americans, i find it, as you do, incomprehensible, if not repugnant that somebody who helped to find osama bin laden is in jail in pakistan. that bothers every american.
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that said, the pakistanis make the argument that he didn't know what he was doing, that he didn't know who he was specifically targeting or what was happening. >> you think he knew he was helping americans, though? >> let me just finish. let me just finish. he clearly knew what he was doing because they make the argument that he was doing it as a regular course of business for him. that said, that's not excuse. i'm simply explaining to you that rather than cut aid, which is a pretty dramatic, draconian sledge hammer approach to a -- we have our ground line of communications, which is the military's term for roads that go to afghanistan. and that route is critical to our supply to our troops.
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>> it was condition, not cut. >> we have in addition to that had intelligence cooperation. our folks were able to cooperate on the ground in pakistan. that's one of the ways we were able to get osama bin laden. i don't think the pakistanis frankly have gotten credit sufficiently for the fact that they were helpful. it was their permissiveness in allowing our people to be there to help us tie the knots that focused on that, to some degree. in addition, they have lost some 6,000 people just in the last year in their efforts to go after terrorists. they have lost about 30,000 people over the course of the last several years because they have been willing to engage the insurgencies and so there are things that the pakistanis have done. as complicated as the
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relationship has been. now i think and i intend to raise the issue of the doctor with them. i can promise you that. but i'm not going to recommend, nor do i think it is wise for american policy to just cut our assistance. we need to build our relationship with the pakistanis, not diminish it. >> senator murphy. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. welcome senator kerry. i'm sorry that our careers in the senate will only overlap for a few weeks but i want to thank you because for those of us in our corner of the country who have come into public service, it has been your example that has inspired us to do so, your ability to both position yourself as a spokesman for the disenfranchised and steward for our country's interest around the world. a lot of us came into public service because of your work for our region.
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i thank you for that. i wanted to spend my short time turning to the asia-pacific region. and specifically spending a little bit of time on china as well. secretary clinton in a speech she gave in singapore some time back, crafted a great and simple phrase about how today for the first time in modern history you can become a global superpower simply through the power of your economy, not by the power of your military. china is the best example but it has now turned its focus to military might. in connecticut, we have 40% of our exports sent to that region today on an annual basis. we are increasing our country's exports by 25% to 30% clip and we know with respect to china that those numbers pale in comparison to what they could be because high-tech manufacturers
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cower. military manufacturers in connecticut can't get into china as competitors can get into our market. secretary clinton talked about this new concept about economic state craft. and i wanted to get your thoughts about how we can use and continue to use the power of the department of state to try to pressure the chinese to both correct its flaws on intellectual property. to pressure that nation to open up its markets to more american goods and then in general, how you see our ability to really exercise economic pressure on that region to be a source of what we hope is a doubling of exports as the president has commanded us to do over the next five years. >> well, first of all, senator,
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thank you for your nice comments. i appreciate it. and welcome to the committee. i'm delighted to see you on the committee. senator reed called me and we chatted about folks who might serve on the committee and i'm delighted you are there. and i'm sorry that we won't be working together on the committee, but believe me, we will be working together, and i look forward to it. look, secretary clinton, if she were sitting here and she has previously said -- and i will simply reiterate and underscore, china is an ongoing process. and it takes commitment and perseverance to break through on one issue or another. we have a lot of issues with china. my intention is to continue to
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focus, as the administration has begun through its rebalancing, to grow that rebalance, because it's critical for us to strengthen our relationship with china. china is the other sort of significant economy in the world and obvious has a great appetite for resources around the world and we need to establish rules of the road that work for everybody. that's why the administration came up with the transpacific partnership in an effort to help establish greater leverage, if you will, for this notion of broadly accepted rules of the road, which are critical to our doing commerce. but on things like intellectual property, market access, currency, there are sill significant challenges ahead with china. now, my hope is that ping and
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the new administration will recognize also the need to broaden the relationship with us in return. i think -- i mean, i could envision a way in which china could play a much more significant role as a partner in any number of efforts globally. we shouldn't be viewed as -- we will be competitors in the economic marketplace, but shouldn't be viewed as adversaries in some way that diminishes our ability to cooperate in a number of things. china is cooperating with us now on iran. there might be more we could do with respect to north korea. there could be more we could do in other parts of the far east. and hopefully, we could build those relationships that will further that transformation. we make progress.
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it's incremental. it's a tough flight. and there isn't any single magic way to approach it. if we can find a better sense of our interests and commonality of goals we could work towards -- climate change is an example. if we just sit around where we are today in respect to the comments i think senator borrow rasso made -- barrasso made, we are going to have trouble. so we've got to get these folks as part of this unified effort and i will work hard to do that. >> i appreciate that. the one probably the most important sum bling block to that growing diplomatic partnership that i agree you could have transformational potential for the world is the potential conflict between
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china's military growing footprint in the region and our pivot when it comes to asia when it comes to our military interests as well. we have seen these territorial dispute between china and others, how do we ramp up militarily without getting drawn into a lot of these dispute which we have no immediate interest in, but makes it harder to stay disconnected from if we just have a larger footprint there? >> senator, i'm not convinced that increased military ramp up is critical yet. i'm not convinced of that. that's something i would want to look at very carefully when and if you folks confirm me and i can get in there and dig into this a little deeper. but we have a lot more bases out there, including china today. we have a lot more forces out there than any other in the
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world including china, today. and we augmented the president's announcement in australia with additional marines. the chinese look at that and say, what's the united states doing? they trying to circle us? what's going on? you know, every action has its reaction. not just the law of cyst six but law of plomeds -- diplomacy. we have to be thoughtful how we go forward. i want to take on the word pivot. i think pivot implies that we are turning away from somewhere else. we are not turning away from anywhere else. whatever we do in china should not or in the far east, independent knees yeah -- indonesia, vietnam, all of these
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countries should not come at the expense of relationships in europe or the middle east or elsewhere. it can't. what we need to do is try to bring europe along with us to a recognition of the opportunities in the far east. it would improve our clout. it would leverage the market. perhaps there has been some talk about u.s.-e.u. trade relationship. i don't know whether that could become a reality or not. but we need to think thoughtfuly about not creating a threat where there isn't one and understanding very carefully where we can find the basis of better cooperation. now i want to emphasize, because i want someone out there saying kerry has a mistaken notion about china about what they're doing. i'm not saying you don't have to
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be careful and diligent and understand where it's going and not talking about retreating from our current levels whatsoever. i'm simply trying to think about how we do this in a way that doesn't create the reaction you don't want to create. >> senator kaine. >> your 29 years of service on this committee is a great example for those of us new comers, i thank you for that and look forward to working with you a as secretary. a comment and two questions. in the chair's opening round of questions, he raised issues about our relations in the western hemisphere. those are important to me and those were touched on in the discussion with senator murphy. i worry a little bit that our foreign policy has been oriented east-west. but the north-south axis is
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important. and i worry about state sponsors and in a time of tension it's not that if we're standing still, we could be seeing our influence erode. as you talked about these matters today, i hope that the state department has that north-south ax inch s. your opening comments demonstrated what has long been a position of yours that you understand that we have an unbrookeable bond with israel and that's why the deficienttive -- definitive statement. as much as i believe as difficult as it looks, we also long for the day, long for the prospect that there would be peace between a secured jewish state of israel and an independent and prosperous
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palestine. it might seem unlikely, but the current peaceful relationships in ireland seemed unlikely 30 years ago. what would your approach be as secretary of state in trying to advance that day so it might be sooner rather than later? >> well, part of my approach to help advance that day is not to be too explicit here today. i have a lot of thoughts about that challenge. and one of the things i can guarantee you is i don't want to prejudice it by public demands to any party at this point in time. i think -- i will say this. president obama is deeply committed to a two-state solution. i have been reading lately speculation about whether or not
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he is committed to the process or what he thinks or believes, et cetera. a lot of is simply wrong and blown out of proportion. the president understands mistakes and the implications in the middle east. and the almost -- i mean so much of what we aspire to achieve and what we need to do globally, what we need to do in south asia, south central asia, throughout the gulf, all of this is tied to what can or doesn't happen with respect to israel and palestine. in some places, it's used as an excuse. in other places, it's a genuine, deeply felt challenge. i'm not going to say anything that prejudice our ability to
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try to get a negotiation moving in the appropriate way and in the appropriate manner and i'm not going to go into what that is, but i think i personally believe -- i have been at this, almost 29 years in this committee. we have been at this. i have watched all of it. i was on the lawn when we were there with the handshake with arafat. and i have been through seven prime ministers and nine in all, two of them were the same. and i have seen plantation, madrid, oslo and so forth. we need to try to find a way forward. and i happen to believe that there is a way forward, but i also believe that if we can't be successful, the door, window,
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whatever you want to call it, to the possibility of a two-state solution could shut on everybody and that would be disastrous in my judgment. so i think this is an enormously important issue. and i will never step back from my commitment to the state of israel which i have shown for the 29 years i have been here, but i will not step back from my understanding of the plight of the palestinians and others who are caught up in the swirl of this. young children, who i have seen, who have hopes for future, and i would like to see us deliver. >> the state department and secretary play critical roles on human rights and you have touched on those today. a recent example that you were involved in in some way was the activity of secretary clinton and others on behalf of the human rights activist in china. a human rights issue that i'm
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concerned about is religious freedom. you and i share a faith background and share a commitment to that bedrock american principle that all should be able to worship or not without punishment or preference, whether it's marginalization of muslims in europe or repression of christians in the middle east or anti-semitism anywhere. the u.s. has a valuable role to play and the state department does in the protection of religious minorities. and i would love for you to talk about that for a second. >> i couldn't agree more and i'm glad you raised that issue. it's at the core of who we are. the tolerance on which the united states is founded is one of our greatest attributes. and it's interesting, i will tell you, you know, we've gone through our own turbulence and the puritans came to
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massachusetts and there were a few excesses and a guy named roger williams left massachusetts and traveled through the forests, through the winter and came out on a bay and called it providence and now providence, rhode island. and you had john davenport and others who went to new haven, connecticut. it took us a while to get it right. and i think we do. and needless to say, one of the roles of the state department is to help people understand what an essential ingredient tolerance is and diversity and pluralism to the ability of a country to flourish, of people to have their rights. that is one of the big challenges that we face. i'm sure my advisers at the
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state department would say, you know, stop there, senator. but i'm going to say something additional, which is i have a lot of friends who are muslim, who i have learned -- who i have met and built relationships with over the years in my travels. and leaders in that region will be the first to tell you, me, others that what you see in radical islam, it is not islam, it is radical islam. it is exploitation and hijacking of an old and honored religion and what we need to do is find a way -- and this is something we have to work at -- for people to understand the degree to which that is happening and becoming in some places an excuse for their disenfranchisement, of being deprived of good can
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governance, jobs, opportunity and one of our missions is to not let that be an excuse. so i think that carrying the banner of religious tolerance, of diversity and pluralism is critical. we have raised that with president morsi. i think i was the first american to meet with the president before he even knew he was a candidate. and we talked about the need for the brotherhood to be able to respect the diversity of egypt. now that hasn't happened completely as we would like in the constitutional process. but as i said, that's an ongoing process and we need to work together to try to do it. but senator, you raise a central, central issue with respect to what is happening to the politics of certain regions of the world. and it's got to be front and center in our dialogue. >> thank you. >> senator corker, final
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comment? >> mr. chairman, thank you for having the hearing. and mr. chairman, i think all of us who have known you and known your service here for 29 years thought that have conducted yourself here exceptionally well and know you are going to be confirmed in the next very few days and i just thank you -- i thank you for the fact that you want to serve in this position, but also the fact that you have established an expensive background and understanding and i know you will be good in this job and look forward to working with you and thank you for your patience today. >> two quick questions and hope we can get commitments from you, having gone through the lengthy hearings on the administrative review board's recommendations and what happened in benghazi, can we be assured that you'll personally oversee the implementation of the a.r.b. and have your senior leadership make
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it a top priority? >> absolutely. >> with respect to our democracy programs worldwide can we expect you to be a strong supporter of those programs? >> yes. >> finally a comment, you know to suggest that spring break is a form of torture to the castro regime, unfortunately, they are experts about torture, as is evidence by the brutal crackdown on peaceful democracy advocates on the island last year. over 6,600 peaceful democracy advocates detained or arrested. just this past sunday, the ladies in white, a group of women who dress in white and march every sunday to church, try to come together to go to church this past sunday and the result of that -- these are individuals who are the
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relatives of former or current political prisoners in castro's jails, the result is more than 35 of the women in white were intercepted, beaten with belts, threatened to death by agents aiming guns at them and temporarily arrested. and then we have a united states citizen, who all he tried to do is give access to the internet to a small jewish population in havana and has been languishing in jail for nearly four years. that's real torture. mr. chairman, you have given an incredibly thoughtful expansive, passionate at times and an incredible depth of knowledge before this committee for nearly three hours and 50 minutes. it's a testament to your long service and long commitment and what we can expect of you as the next secretary of state. i know that your father richard,
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who also seved this country, would be extremely proud of you today. the committee will receive questions for the record until the close of business today. so we urge members who may have any questions to do so by the close of business today. we encourage the nominee to respond to the questions as quickly as possible. and with that, and thanks from the committee, this hearing is adjourned. >> thank you, mr. chairman. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> senator john kerry, finishing up his testimony before the senate foreign relations committee. his nomination to be secretary of state, covering a wide range of foreign policy issues and we would like to focus our question to you, what do you think is the biggest challenge for the u.s. in the area of foreign policy over the next phone years. the phone numbers are --
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>> if you are on twitter, the hash tag we are using is kerry and we'll try to get to some of those tweets as well. we are planning to take you live to the white house in about half an hour at 2:30 eastern as the president has some nominations he is going to announce at the white house at 2:30. and under way at this hour, we had planned to bring it here on c-span but the hearing went late. under way at the pentagon, a briefing with general martin dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs and leon panetta, the defense secretary, announcing a change, the lifting of the ban of the use of women in combat. let's get back to the focus of the phone calls here on c-span. biggest foreign policy challenge for the next four years.
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democratic caller in florida. caller: i have been watching the program all morning and i see the biggest foreign policy challenge in the next four years is not so much one that takes us out of the country as it is bringing democrats and republicans together to do what's best for our country in regards to foreign policy. that's where i see the biggest challenge in the next four years is bringing those two parties together so we can all be safe and enjoy the freedoms that we have today. host: do you think it makes it easier for that to happen with the president appointing someone like john kerry? caller: i think john kerry is a prime example of how we can probably get that done just because of his nature of bringing people together, not just in this country but in other countries as well. host: go to republican line, south carolina, robert, how are
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you? caller: how are you? i have to disagree with that lady. i agree with her for bringing everybody together, but i do not think that john kerry is the person who is going to be able to do it, because when he ran for president in the past, he lied about his vietnam actions and stuff. i'm a former vietnam veteran. i think we should put our issues back into the united states. pull all our money back out of the foreign aid and stuff, and take care of our own people. host: texas city, texas on the independent line. john, what do you think the biggest foreign policy challenge is over the next four years? caller: well, let me give you some background. i'm a vietnam three years as an infantry officer there. also, i worked 37 years overseas for various engineering construction companies.
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i agree that kerry can be a positive change, but the biggest challenge is going to be condensing foreign people -- convincing foreign people that we are there to help them. we cannot convince the foreign governments because they have own interests, personal, financial, religious, whatever. but we have to get together about how we're going to address america's view of the world and the world's view of america. and right now, it's not happening. host: john, thanks for your call. reminder, we are going to show you all of the testimony, nearly four hours of john kerry before the senate foreign relations committee, tonight at 8:30 eastern here on c-span. one of the issues that john kerry raised in his opening statement was the u.s. policy towards iran and the issue of containment. here's what he had to say.
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>> the president has made it definitive. we will do what we must do to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. and i repeat here i repeat here today, our policy is not a containment, it is prevention. the clock is ticking on our efforts to obtain responsible compliance. this administration, working with congress and an unpresence in the international coalition, has put in place crippling sanctions on iran. mr. chairman, you have been a leader in that effort and i know will continue to be. president obama has stated again and again, and i want to emphasize this -- he and i prefer a diplomatic resolution to this challenge, and i will work to give diplomacy every effort to succeed. but no one should mistake our resolve to reduce the nuclear threat.
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host: we are asking you about the biggest foreign policy challenges facing the u.s. alabama, andy on our democrats'' line. caller: i agree with the sound bite that senator kerrey was just saying. i believe that iran and north korea and in their race to nuclear arms will be the biggest issue over the coming years. they are the biggest threat right now and the biggest threat to our interests, and now will be a huge thing over the coming months and years. host: do you think de administration's program of sanctions is working or will work? caller: when it comes to iran, i think it is working to curb them.
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with north korea, they are so determined to get nuclear weapons and attack us that i don't think anything except retaliation against any attempt of an attack would work for them. they just said today that they were testing rockets and missiles specifically aimed to attack the united states. i think we should take that seriously. host: the hearing covered issues not only on both korea and iran, but benghazi, china, and clean energy, climate change. ron in louisiana. caller: caller: i am a 68-year-old republican, and almost in spite of that, i think clinton was the best secretary of state in my lifetime, and i sincerely believe that john kerry will be even better. i agree with the previous caller. i think iran and north korea is
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going to be the biggest as far as far unchallenged in the next four years. host: if approved, john kerry would be the first senator from the foreign relations committee in modern times to move from foreign relations into the secretary of state will. to be approved, it is 2/3 of the senate voting. he has to be approved by the foreign relations committee first, and then the senate will happen in the next couple of weeks. mary, independent caller bank. caller: yes, thank you for taking my call. i am calling to say that i think the biggest challenge for secretary of state kerry would be to keep us out of future wars, to bring our troops home, and to face the terrorists it right here in this country, and the problems we have appeared border problems, drug problems. where it is necessary, i think we can employ our troops more advantageous that way on our own
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soil. host: checking out tweets using the hashtag #kerry -- another view on ron paul. -- rand paul marty, where are you calling from? democrats' line. masa -- caller: mesa, arizona. the biggest threat not only to foreign policy but this country as a whole is the economy. we cannot have a strong defense if we have a weak economy. i don't know why the far left of the democratic party wants to dress from a capitalistic society into a socialist society
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-- wants to turn us from a capitalistic society into a socialist society. we can solve a lot of our problems if we have a strong economy. host: in his testimony, senator kerry said that foreign policy is economic policy, and he also talked about the issue of energy and climate change. he was asked a number of times about the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. yesterday, five hours of hearings with current secretary of state hillary clinton. here is what senator mccain asked to john kerry and his response. [video clip] >> i did not want to bring it up, but since it was brought up i will have to respond again. americans do care. they do ^ why four americans were murdered. they into care why the american people were misled. they were misled by the talking points that secretary rice told the american people, which were false.
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they were misled when the information that we needed to know about how those talking points were put together, which we still don't know the answers to many months later -- we were misled when we still haven't gotten answers why there wasn't that a security at the consulate, when there was clear indication of the threat. we were misled when we were not told that it was a request for the 16-member security force to remain at the consulate. the list goes on and on. we still haven't gotten the answers as to what happened at benghazi, and for anyone to say that we don't care what happened is absolutely false. i can tell you that because i talked to the families of those who were murdered. we will -- some of us will
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continue our efforts to find out the answers to these questions. american people deserve them, including why the president of the united states, after alleging in a debate with mitt romney said that he had called it terrorist act when in fact he had not -- that same day he did an interview with cbs news saying he did not know what happened. two weeks later he told the various news programs he did not know what was the cause of it. we knew what the cause widespread people don't drink or pg's and mortars to spontaneous -- people down bring rpg's and morders to at spontaneous demonstrations could we will not give up on this, despite what some in the media think we should do. host: back to your phone calls on foreign policy issues. illinois is next.
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republican line. caller: hello? host: you are on the air. caller: everybody thinks that iran only did 9/11, but they had been steady doing what they have been doing since they overthrew the shah of iran. ayatollah khamenei -- they killed everybody that was a muslim. 'hais uestioned ba' and everybody says it was just the last two or three years. no, i think jimmy carter was the president, and they had american hostages, no communications, no
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agreements since the 1970's. nobody talks about that. "oh, we got to tell them to quit doing that, we are not going to take this from iran." they have been since the 1970's doing what they have been doing. host: certainly the issue of iran came up a number of times in today's hearing. here is a tweet. couple more calls. samuel is next. where are you calling from? you are on our independent line. caller: i'm calling from san louis, missouri. i commend the president for nominating kerry, and at the same time i commend kerry for accepting the job, because he is knowledgeable-- in this particular foreign
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affairs issues. the biggest challenge for the country in terms of foreign policy is the arab spring. we should consider being involved in the depths of what is happening in that part of the world. on the issue of iran, i would suggest that we give diplomacy extensive time to see how the outcome will be. we should take a cue from iraq on what happened at there. given iran, extensive it diplomatic chance would be my suggestion. host: thank you for your call it a few more calls on foreign policy challenges, as we go to the white house at 2:30. canada is on our democrats' lin
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-- kenneth is on our democrats' line. caller: i am a 54-year-old democrat. our biggest challenge in the next few years is iran and north korea. iran will not back down from anything. they are really hard to talk to. you are not really knowing exactly who to talk to to get agreements with. those are the two challenges for the next four years as far as i'm concerned. host: 1 more tweet, from the tauscher on the issue of afghanistan and what senator kerry had to say on the afghanistan transition. here on c-span in about 20 minutes or so, we will take you live to the white house.
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the president is said to name a couple of appointments -- actually, in one case is a reappointment. he will renominate richard cordray to lead the consumer financial protection bureau. he came into that position through a recess employment last year. the president will also named mary jo white, attorney from new york 1993 to 2002, to head the securities and exchange commission. we will take you there live when it does start, which should be about 20 minutes or so, 2:30 eastern. at this hour, a news conference at the pentagon is looking at the issue -- talking about the issue of women serving on the frontline in combat roles. they are announcing the lifting of that ban and a way forward. a little bit of what they had to say within the hour at the pentagon. [video clip] >> one of my priorities as secretary of defense has been to
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remove as many barriers as possible for talented and qualified people to be able to serve this country in uniform. our nation was billed on the premise of the citizen soldier. our democracy, i believe it is the responsibility of every citizen to protect the nation, and every citizen who can meet the qualifications of service could have that opportunity. to that end, i've been working closely with general dempsey and the joint chiefs of staff. we have been working for well over a year. how can be expanded opportunities for women in the armed services. it is clear to all of us that
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women are contributing in a unpresident -- unprecedented ways to the nation's mission of defending -- to the military's mission of defending the nation. they are serving in a growing number of critical roles on and off the battlefield. the fact is that they have become an integral part of our ability to perform our mission. over more than a decade of war, they have demonstrated courage, skill, and patriotism. 152 women in uniform have died serving this nation. in iraq and afghanistan. female service members have faced the reality of combat,
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proven and their willingness to fight, and yes, to die to defend their fellow americans. however, many military positions, particularly in ground combat units, still remain closed to women because of the 1994 direct ground combat definition an assignment rule. host: secretary panetta and general martin dempsey. they just wrapped up that briefing at the pentagon, and you'll be able to see the video and we will show that to you after the president's nomination announcement at 2:30 eastern, so look for that in the next hour or so. here is what the president had to say. "today by moving to more military positions including ground combat units to women,
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our armed forces have taken another step in harnessing the talent and skills of all our citizens. many have made the ultimate sacrifice, including more than 150 women who have given their lives in iraq and afghanistan, patriots whose sacrifices show that a seller knows no gender." he also says "mothers and sisters are playing a greater role in protecting this country we love." also, democrats led by senator dianne feinstein reintroduced and assault weapons ban to the 113th congress to they held a news conference and we will show you all of that later in our schedule. here is some of what dianne feinstein had to say earlier today. [video clip] >> today my colleagues and i am are introducing a bill to prohibit the sale, transfer,
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manufacture, importation of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices that can accept more than 10 rounds. let me briefly describe the legislation we are introducing. we prohibit 158 specifically named military style firearms. since the 1994 law expired, there has been an influx of new models of assault weapons. these models are more powerful, more lethal, and more technologically advanced than the weapons or in 1993. -- were in 1993. our bill. its other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, and shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine, and have one military characteristic. one criticism of the 1994 law is that it was 82 characteristic
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test that defined it, and that was too easy to work around. manufacturers to simply remove one of the characteristics, and the firearm was legal. the bill we are introducing today will make it much more difficult to work around by moving a one-characteristic test. the bill also prevents and prohibits specific loop holes, such as the slide iron stock, which can be added to an ar-15, which essentially make it minnick automatic weapons, and it is legal. -- mimic automatic weapons, and it is legal. these are modifications that makes it easy for manufacturers to ife the law. the bill prohibits semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more
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than 10 rounds. a ban on importation of assault weapons and large capacity magazines. elimination of the 10-year sunset. let me tell you what the bill will not do. it will not affect hunting or sporting firearms. the bill protects hunters and sportsmen by protecting 2200 specifically named weapons used for hunting and sporting purposes to it they are by make and model exempted from the legislation. when we did this bill in 1993, there were 375. today there are 2200. finally, the bill's objects existing were grandfathered weapons to a background check in the event the weapon sold or transferred. we have tried to learn from the
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bill. we have tried to recognize legal hunting rights. we have tried to recognize legal defense rights. we have tried to recognize the right of a citizen to legally possess a weapon gu. no weapon is taken from anyone. the purpose is to dry up the supply for any time. there is no sunset on this bill. host: again, congressional democrats from earlier today reintroducing the assault weapons ban legislation. you'll see all that in our video library and later on c-span on our program schedule. in the next 15 minutes or so, we will take you live to the white house with president obama and a couple of nominations -- in one case, a renomination. richard cordray as head of the consumer financial protection bureau and mary jo white as the
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head of the securities and exchange commission. until then, just a portion of senator john kerry's opening statement today before the senate foreign relations committee. >> mr. chairman, ranking member corker, members of the committee, thank you very, very much. i am in awe of the wonderful, were just made and i will say a little bit more about then. before i begin, i think most of you know my wonderful wife, teresa, my brother, who is serving over in the commerce department. they have given him time off. and my daughter vanessa and her husband, brian, both of whom are working as physicians did and another daughter who is not here, and stepsons who are spread around the world.
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we are thinking about them as we embark on this wonderful journey. for 29 years, i sat up on the dais where you all are and i looked up at the witnesses and wondered what they were thinking sometimes, as we questioned them. i don't want this to affect her opening questions, but let me say i've never seen a more distinguished or better looking group of public officials in my life. [laughter] suddenly i am feeling a lot of sympathy for the folks to sit down here. i want you to know that a couple of nights ago, i was watching "godfather ii," so be forewarned if somebody suddenly shows up with my long lost brother in the audience. all bets are off, folks. and i am enormously grateful for the generous comments of the chair and the ranking member. thank you very, very much.
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thank you also for your tremendous cooperation over the course of the last year's, providing that you get me out of here quickly, i will be able to congratulate you more fully when you officially assume your responsibilities. i will tell all of you in this committee that the new members particularly that i have enjoyed chairing this committee and working with you as much as anything i have done or have been privileged to do in all of my career. i think that this is one of the great committees of the united states senate, and it is the only major committee i have served on since day one when i arrived in the senate in 1985. as you know, the committee carries special, consequential responsibilities with respect to the security of our nation, and
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i thank each and everyone of you for this serious consideration that you give and have given to the challenging issues and for the remarkable cooperation that i have had as chairman of the committee. if confirmed, i look forward to continuing to work particularly closely to all of you as we tackle some of the toughest issues and challenges that i have seen in the entire time i served on this committee. i particularly well, the new members in that regard. -- welcome the new members in that regard. i'm very grateful to president obama for nominating me and entrusting me with this responsibility, and i am particularly grateful to secretary clinton, senator mccain, and senator warren for their introductions of me just now. i will not take it personally that this may be the one item in washington that seems to unite democrats and republicans to get me out of the senate quickly. [laughter]
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secretary clinton particularly has served above and beyond the call of duty. i think everybody on this committee would agree. her service has been super, and we all thank her for a job well done, her tireless efforts on behalf of our nation gues she hs sa -- she has set a very high marks for commitment to the country, and i pledge to you that with the consent of the senate, i will do everything in my power, some in every energy and all of my focus -- sjmmon every energy and all my focus to build on her record and the president's vision. senator mccain, as he mentioned, is a longtime friend. we met here in the senate, coming from very different position than perspectives, but we found common ground. i will never forget standing with him in hanoi, hte cell --
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the cell in the hanoi hilton where he spent a number of years of his life, just the two of us, listening to him talk about that experience. i will always be grateful for his partnership in helping to make real peace with vietnam by establishing the most significant process in the history of our country, or any country, for the accounting of missing and dead in any war, and then for working to lift the embargo and ultimately normalize relations with an old enemy. john had every reason to hate, but he did not, and instead and we were able to steal the winds and end the war that had divided too many people for much too long. as we talk about war and peace and foreign policy, i want all of us to keep in our minds, as i think we do, the extraordinary men and women, are on the front
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lines as we meet here today. the troops at war who helped protect america. i can pledge to you that as a veteran of war, i will always carry the consequences for our decisions in my mind and be grateful that we have a such extraordinary people to back us up. i also thank my new colleague senator warren. she has a long time fierce fighter for what is fair, an effort testimony helps win votes for my confirmation, she will be the senior senator of our state in a record few legislative days. i spent 29 years. it is humbling to be here before you in this new role as president obama's nominee as secretary of state. but my approach to this role, if
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confirmed, is deeply informed but the 28-plus years i've been privileged to spend in the senate. that perspective will remain with me if confirmed as secretary, and i'm already excited by the many ways we can work together and in which we must work together in order to advance america's security interests in a complicated and ever more dangerous world. i would add that i am particularly aware that in many ways, the greatest challenge to america's foreign policy will be in your hands, not mine. while it is often said that we cannot be strong at home if we are not strong in the world, these days of fiscal crisis, and as a recovering member of the super committee, i am especially cognizant of the fact that we cannot be strong in the world unless we are strong at home. the first priority of business, which will affect my credibility
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as a diplomat and our credibility as a nation, as we work to help other countries create order, the first priority will be that america at last put its own fiscal house in order. i really cannot emphasize to you and how imperative this is. people all over the world are looking to the united states for leadership. we are known as the indispensable nation for good reason. no nation has more opportunity to advance the cause of democracy, no nation is as committed to the cause of human rights as we are. but to protect our nation and make good on our promises, as well as to live up to our ideals and meet the crisis of this moment, it is urgent that we show people and the rest of the world that we can get our business done in an effective and timely way. it is difficult enough to solve some of the problems that we
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face. but i will tell you, it becomes impossible, or near impossible, if we ourselves replace our credibility and leverage with gridlock and dysfunction. i have heard it in my trips and secretary clinton has heard it in her trips to any of you who travel who began to hear questions about whether or not the united states can or deliver. moreover, more than ever, foreign policy is economic policy. the world is competing for resources and global markets. every day that goes by where america is uncertain about engaging in that arena or unwilling to put our best foot forward and when, on willing to demonstrate our resolve to lead, is a day in which we weaken our nation itself. my plea is that we can summon across party lines, without
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partisan diversions, an economic patriotism which recognizes that america's strength and prospects abroad depend on american strength and results at home. it is hard to tell the leadership of d a number of countries that they have to deal with the imf, balance the budget, create their economic order where there is none, if we don't provide it for ourselves. aid is also imperative that in implementing president obama's vision for the world, as he ends more than a decade of war, that we join together to augment our message to the world. president obama and everyone of us here knows that american foreign policy is not defined by drones and deployments alone. we cannot allow the extraordinary but we do to save and change lives to be eclipsed entirely by the role we have had to play since september 11. a role that was thrust upon us.
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american foreign policy is also defined by food security, energy security, humanitarian assistance, the fight against disease and to push for development, as much as it is by any single counterterrorism initiative. and it must be. it is defined by leadership on life-threatening issues like climate change or fighting to live millions of lives by promoting freedom and democracy from africa to the americas, or speaking out for the prisoners of gulags in north korea, or the millions of refugees and displaced persons and victims of human trafficking tate is defined by keeping faith with all that our troops have sacrificed to secure for afghanistan. american lives up to her values when we give voice to the voiceless. i share with the president conviction that it is equally imperative that we assert a new
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role in the world of increasing failed and failing states. burgeoning populations of young people, hungry for jobs, opportunity, individual rights, and freedom, are rebelling against the years of disenfranchisement and humiliation. a fruit vendor in tunisia who ignited the arab awakening wanted to dignity and respect. he wanted to sell his fruit without corruption and abuse. that is what led him to self- immolate. the use of tahrir square who brought egypt its revolution represented a generational thirst for opportunity, an individual participatory rights of governance, not a religious movement. the developed world can do more to meet the challenge and responsibility of these aspirations.
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with the help of all the members of this committee, i am determined to help president obama meet this moment. it is vital for our nation that we do so. the world is well aware that we face a number of immediate, dangerous challenges. particularly and the middle east and south central asia. given our extraordinary interest in non-proliferation, we must resolve the questions surrounding iran's nuclear program. the president has made a definitive -- made it definitive. we will do what we must do to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and i repeat today -- our policy is not a containment, it is prevention. the clock is ticking on our efforts to secure responsible compliance. this administration, working with congress and an unpresident did international coalition, has put into place crippling
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sanctions on iran. mr. chairman, you have been a leader in that effort, and i know will continue to be. president obama has stated again and again, and i want to emphasize this -- he and i prefer a diplomatic resolution to this challenge. and i will work to give diplomacy every effort to succeed. but no one should mistake our resolve to reduce the nuclear threat. nearly 42 years ago, chairman of fulbright first gave me the opportunity to testify before this committee during a difficult and divided time for our country. today i cannot help but recognize that the world itself was in many ways similar, divided as it was a mom bipolar cold war antagonisms -- among bipolar cold war antagonisms to today's world is more complicated than anything we
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have experienced, from the emergence of china to the arab awakening, inextricably linked environmental and health and demographic issues, poverty, disease, conflicts ongoing in afghanistan, entire populations and fates struggling with the demands of modernity, and the accelerating pace of technological innovation, shifting power from nation states to individuals. with the end of the cold war, henry kissinger pointed out in his super book on diplomacy -- he said, "none of the most important countries that must build a new world order have had any experience with the multi- state that is emerging. never before has a new world order had to be assembled from so many different perceptions or on so global scale, nor has any previous order had to combine
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the attributes of the historic balance of power system with a global democratic opinion and the exploding technology of the contemporary period." that was written in 1994, and it may be even more relevant today. this really is a time for american leadership a time for fresh thinking, a time to cross party lines divide and come together in the interest of our nation, a time to find ways to maximize the impact of all of america's resources, including the great resources of this committee and the united states senate. if i am confirmed, one of the first things i intended to do is sit down with senator menendez and senator corker and invite all of the members of this committee to come together, hopefully at a time when there is no interruption and we can really dig in and talk, talk
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about how we can have a constructive dialogue and collegial relationship, because even as we pride ourselves on separation of powers and a unique oversight role that the committee place, the challenges in the world are so enormous that we would do our country a disservice if we did not identify the ways we can help each other to confront the unique set of questions globally. if you confirm me, i would take office as secretary proud that the senate is in my blood, but equally proud that so, too, is the foreign service. my father's work under presidents both democrat and republican took me and my siblings around the world on a personal journey that brought on the sacrifices and commanded that the men and women of the foreign service make every day
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on behalf of america. i wish everyone in the country could see and understand firsthand the devotion, loyalty, amazingly hard and often dangerous work that the diplomats on the front lines in do for our nation. theirs is a service which earns our country an enormous return on investment. i will be proud and honored to represent them and i will work hard to augment our public diplomacy so that the story is told at home and abroad. everyone on this committee knows well that the road ahead is tough. but i believe justice deeply that global leadership -- >> today's hearing, tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. we take you live to the white house with president obama. >> over the last four years, i've talked about how shared prosperity from wall street to main street depends on regulation to protect americans
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from the irresponsible actions of a few. that is why we have passed tougher reforms to protect our financial system from the abuse that nearly brought the economy to its knees. today there are rules to help responsible families buy a home or send their child to college without worrying about being tricked out of their life savings. there are rules to make sure that financial firms that do the right thing are not undermined by those that don't do the right thing. and there are rules to end taxpayer-funded wall street bailouts once and for all. but is not enough to change the law. we need cops on the beat to enforce the law. that is why today i am nominating mary jo white to lead the securities and exchange commission and renominating richard cordray for the consumer financial protection bureau could this guy is bothering me here. as a young girl, mary jo white
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was a big fan of the hardy boys., too, by the weig as an adult, she had a career the hardy boys could only dream of preachy brought down john gotti, and she brought down the terrorists responsible for bombing the world trade center and the embassies and africa. that is a pretty good run. you don't want to mess with mary jo. mary jo does not intimidate easily, and that is important because she has a big drop ahead ever did -- job ahead of her. there is much more work to be done to complete the task of making sure that investors are better informed and better protected going forward. and we need to keep going after irresponsible behavior in the
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financial industry so that taxpayers don't pay the price. i am absolutely confident that mary jo has the confidence and resolve to tackle these issues in a way that is smart and fear, and i want to thank e lisse walters, who has done an outstanding job of holding down the fort is chairman, and i expect the senate to confirm mary jo as soon as possible so she can get to work. my next nominee is a familiar face could a year ago i nominated richard cordray to help give americans the information they need to make a sound financial crisis and protect them from unscrupulous lenders. nobody questioned richard's qualifications. but he was not allowed an up or down vote in the senate, and as a consequence, i took action to
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appoint him on my own. over the last year, richard has proved to be a champion of american consumers. thanks to his leadership, we have made it tougher for families to be tricked into mortgages they cannot afford, we have set clear rules, we have launched a know before you go campaign so that students can make smart decisions about college, we have cracked down on credit card companies that charged in fees and forced the companies to make it right. through it all, richard has earned a reputation as a straight shooter and someone who is willing to bring every voice to the table to do what is right for consumers and our economy. richard's plame it runs out at the end of the year. he cannot state -- richard's appointment runs out at the end on the year. he can stay on the job unless the senate did send the full point. there is absolutely no excuse
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for the senate to wait any longer to confirm. i want to thank mary jo, richard, and their families for once again agreeing to serve. i would like them to say a few words, starting with mary jo. >> give me my stand there. thank you, mr. president. for the confidence that you have placed in me and the face you have shown in me by nominating me to be the next chair of the securities and exchange commission. i am deeply, deeply honored. if confirmed by the senate, i look forward to committing all of my energies to working with the other commissioners and extremely talented and dedicated men and women of the staff of the sec, to fulfill the agencies mission to protect investors and ensure the strength, efficiency, and transparency of our capital markets.
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the sec, along a vital and positive force for our markets, as a lot of hard and important work ahead of it. i would welcome the opportunity to lead those efforts and build on the work of chairman mary schapiro and chairman elisse walter, who i am very honored to present today. finally and most importantly, i want to thank my husband, who is here today on what is our 43rd wedding anniversary -- >> today? >> today -- for his strong support of me in seeking to engage this public service. thank you very much. >> thank you. richard. >> thank you, mr. president, for the confidence you have placed in me and the team at the consumer financial protection bureau. we understand that our mission is to stand on the side of consumers -- our mothers and
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fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters -- and see that they are treated fairly. for more than a year we are focused on making consumer finance markets work for the american people. we approach this work with open minds, open years, and great determination. we thank you and congress for the opportunity and the honor to serve our country in this important way. thank you. >> well, i just want to thank again mary jo ann richards for their willingness to serve -- mary jo and richard for their willingness to serve. these are people with proven track records, they will look out for the american people, american consumers, and make sure our marketplace works more transparently, more efficiently, more effectively. again, i would urge the senate to confirm both of them as quickly as possible, and i also want to express congratulations to the whites for their
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anniversary. if i had known, we would have, you know, may be rolled out a cake or something. have a fun pit i hope you enjoy. >> mr. president, will you use another recess appointment -- [inaudible] >> president obama at the white house announcing two nominations to the first is richard cordray, who he is renominating to serve as the head of the consumer financial protection bureau. he was installed last year in a recess appointment. also today, president obama nominating former u.s. attorney mary jo white, who served in the position it for new york from 1993 to 2002. we will show you all that they are on our program schedule as well. up next, we are going to take you to the pentagon and a
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briefing from just a short while ago. at the pentagon, defense secretary leon panetta and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general martin dempsey, an ounce to the revision in the policy on women serving in combat roles. >> good afternoon. one of my priorities as secretary of defense has been to remove as many barriers as possible for talented and qualified people to be able to serve this country in uniform. our nation was built on the
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premise of this citizen soldier. in our democracy, i believe is the responsibility of every citizen to protect the nation, and every citizen who can meet the qualifications of service should have that opportunity. to that end, i have been working closely with general dempsey and the joint chiefs of staff, who have been working for well over a year to examine how can we expand the opportunities for women in the armed services. it is clear to all of us that women are contradicting in unprecedented ways to the military's mission of defending the nation. women represent 15% of the force, over 200,000.
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they are serving in a growing number of critical roles on and off the battlefield. the fact is that they have become an integral part of our ability to fulfill the mission. for more than a decade of war, they have demonstrated courage and skill and patriotism. 152 women in uniform have died serving this nation in iraq and afghanistan. female service members have faced the reality of combat, proven their willingness to fight, and yes, to die to defend their fellow americans. however, many military positions, particularly in ground combat units, still remain closed to women because
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of the 1994 direct ground combat definition an assignment rule. military and civilian leaders have been taking a hard look at that rule, based on the experiences of the last decade. in early 2012, i announced a series of modifications to that rule, which open up more than 14,000 positions to women, including positions that were located with ground combat units, certain positions with ground combat units below battalion level. these changes have been implemented, and the experience has been very positive. anytime i have visited the war zone, every time i have met with
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troops and reviewed military operations and talk to wounded warriors, i have been impressed with the fact that everyone, at men and women alike, it is committed to doing the job. they are fighting and dying together. the time has come for our policies to recognize that reality. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and i believe there must be service opportunities for women as fully as possible. therefore today, general dempsey and nine are pleased to announce -- and i are pleased to announce we are limiting the direct ground combat
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exclusion rules for women, and we are moving forward with the plan to eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service. in a few moments after we speak, we will both signed a memo that barrier.ind th ninee '94 our purpose is to be ensure that the mission is carried out by the best qualified and most capable service members, regardless of gender and regardless of creed and beliefs. if members of our military can meet the qualifications for a job -- let me be clear, i am not talking about reducing the qualifications for the job -- if they can meet the qualifications for the job, they should have the right to serve regardless of creed, color, gender, or
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sexual orientation. having conducted an extensive review, the joint chiefs of staff has developed a very thoughtful approach to integrating women into occupations across the force. i strongly agree with the guiding principles and the specific milestones that they have proposed. we are all committed to implementing this change without compromising readiness or morrell or our war fighting capabilities -- or morale or our war fighting capabilities. positions will be open to women following service reviews, using the joint chiefs getting principles and falling congressional -- following a congressional notification procedures is published by law. for this change in policy to succeed, it must be done in a responsible, measured, coherent way. i will let general dempsey this describe our plan of
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action in greater detail, but the bottom line is that further integration of women will occur expeditiously, even as we recognize the need to take time to institutionalize changes of this importance. the steps we are announcing today are significant, and in many ways they are an affirmation of where we have been heading for more than 10 years. nevertheless, it will take more than leadership and professionalism to effectively implement these changes. i am confident by our ability to do that. because i am confident in the leadership that general dempsey and the joint chiefs of staff have demonstrated throughout this process. this has truly been a team effort. i deeply admire the extremely
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thorough and considered approach that they have taken. i want to express my deepest thanks to marty dempsey for his leadership and all the service kchiefs who have been working on this issue and as a group came forward with the recommendation we are implementing today. our men and women in uniform do not ask for more of their leaders in uniform. i fundamentally believe that our military is more effective and success is based -- when success is based solely on ability and qualifications around performance. when i looked at my grandson and nine granddaughters, and i have got six grandchildren, three grandsons and three granddaughters, i want each of them to have the same chance to
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succeed at whatever they want to do. in life, as we all know, there are no guarantees of success. not everyone is going to be able to be a combat soldier. but everyone is entitled to a chance. by committing ourselves to that principle, we are renewing our commitment to the american values our service members fight and die to defend. as secretary, i have gone to bethesda to visit wounded warriors. when i have gone to arlington to bury our dead, there is no distinction that is made between the sacrifices of men and women in uniform.
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they serve, at they or wounded, and they in die right next to each other. the time has come to recognize that reality. by opening up more opportunities for are men and women in uniform, we are making our military stronger and we make america stronger. we deeply honor all of this past generations of combat soldiers and marines who fought and died for our freedom. in many ways their sacrifice has ensured that the next greatest generation will be one of men and women who will fight and die together to protect this nation.
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that is what freedom is all about. >> thank you, mr. secretary. today we are acting to expand the opportunities for women to serve in the united states armed forces and to better align our policies with the experiences we have had over the past decade of war. ultimately, we are acting to strengthen the force. congress acted first in 1948 by legislating that women became a permanent part of the armed forces. last year, as the secretary mentioned, we acted to open thousands of mission-essential occupations at more echelons and more ground combat units. after months of work, the joint chiefs and i recently submitted to the secretary are unanimous recommendation to rescind the direct combat exclusion role for women. in so doing, we are acting to
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eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service. the joint chiefs share a common cause on the needed to start this now and to do it specifically, we would extend opportunities to wick in a way that would maintain readiness, moral, and co-hention. and we will uphold the trust and confidence of the american people as we go forward. our nation demands no less. we'll also integrate women in a way that enhances opportunity for everyone. this means setting clear standards of for everyone in all occupations based on what it takes to do the job. it also means that ensuring these jobs are gender neutral. as we introduce women to closed occupations we must make sure there is a sufficient number of
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females entering the career field and already assigned in the leadership positions in order to sustain the positions overtime. these patrols will guide the work ahead. we'll expand the number of units and the number of women assigned to those units this year. so we can start assigning personnel to previously closed occupations and they will take the time needed to do the work without compromising the principles i just mentioned. some specialties and ratings shall remain exceptions. the services will bear the responsibility for providing the thorough analysis needed to better understand and better articulate what is best for the
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joint force and the women who serve in it. at the same time, women will continue to serve with distinct in and out of combat on land, at sea, an in the air. we all wear the same uniform and most importantly, we all take the same oath. thank you, the secretary and i will now sign the document. [applause] ok, now onward. go ahead. >> mr. chairman, over course of
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your career, based on your experience the you talk about what you think is realistic as we look ahead to the next couple of years. have you considered the physical demands of the job, do you expect you will see anywhere near 100% of jobs open or what are the realistic expectations that you have based on what you have learned over the past year? mr. secretary, on a separate issue, north korea, i'm sure you know, can you talk about what if any, military preparations are maybe needed over the next couple of weeks to prepare for that and if any additional steps will be taken? >> to answer about the question of what i see happening. with the direct combat in place,
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i saw a ticker that says women about to be allowed to serve in combat. we're way beyond that. that is the point here. women are serving in combat and have been. when i got to baghdad in 2003, i hopped into the humvee and i asked the driver who he was and where he was from. i side who are you and she said she's amanda. i said ok. from that point that i realized something had changed and it was time to do something about it. what we've done though, is by eliminating direct combat exclusion provision, the burden used to be -- the burden used to say, why should a woman serve in a particular specificty? now, it is why shouldn't she serve?
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the services now -- with that now as the reversed paradigm to come back overtime and with careful analysis and make sure we have the standards right in other words -- if we're going to keep them close they have to explain right. i think there will be the right amount of scrutiny on that. we have to be the most ready force that we can possibly be. i don't know how that will sort out but i'm eager to begin the journey. >> one thing that i've been struck by, you know, in almost 50 years since i served in the military. to go out now and see women perform in roles and doing a great job at it, i think it
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encouraged me and i think it encouraged all of us that everybody should have a chance. you should be able to perform in any mission if they can meet the qualifications. i think we've been talking and working this issue for a while but i think we both share the feeling that what we're seeing in the men and women in uniform are just outstanding individuals and make a hell contribution to this country and they are willing to put their lives on the line. physical they are willing to put their lives on the line then we need to rec night they deserve a chance to serve in any capacity that they want. with regards to north korea, we are very concerned with north
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korea's continuing behavior. what they said in these -- in the last few days have been needlessly provocative. if they go forward with the kind of tests they are talking about, it again, representings a violation of the u.s. security rez louises and a violation of the national law. we made it very clear that they have a choice. they have a choice to -- between trying to become a member of the international family by negotiating a way to resolve the issues that concern the international community and try to do what they can to improve the status of their people. or to engage in this kind of
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provocative behavior which in the end, will do nothing, nothing other than jeopardize the hope for peace. the united states, we are fully prepared, we are prepared to deal with any actions from the north koreaians but i hope they determine it is better to make a choice to become part of our team. >> are there any signs that a rocket launch is eminent? >> i certainly follow the intelligence closely. we've seen no outward indications. but that doesn't tell you much. they have the capability, frankly, to conduct these tests in a way that makes it difficult to determine whether or not they are doing it.
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>> would you put in perspective that this policy change is a great policy change back in 1948, at the end of don't ask don't tell. will this be as challenging or less challenging because of the major shifts the military has to adopt to? this is not on auto pilot, there are going to be some hurdle to overcome. >> sure. that's why you see the time intervals that we've asked for and the secretary has given us. one of the things we want to make sure we do, tony, we talk about learning the lessons of the last 10 years of war. we want to make sure we don't learn the wrong lessons. what i mean by that is, the kind of warfare we're involved in now -- you're generally back there frequently, sometimes every day
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you come back to the base where you have a mess hall, you have housing units and showering units. one thing we want to do with the time that the secretary has given us is make sure that the standards we develop and accept and measure are standards that apply in any particular kind of convict not just one kind of -- conflict not just one kind of conflict. that's why we want to make sure we have the standards right so anyone who makes the standard can serve in that particular occupation skill. >> do you see any major roadblocks here over next year or two? >> in this country, as the president himself pointed out in his inaugural speech, we've been on a long journey. a long journey in achieving
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equality. there have been some tough challenges along the road in facing every barrier, whether it was racial barriers, which we've overcome, the don't ask don't tell, dealing with women, all of these have not come easy. they have all required a lot of sacrifice, a lot of work, a lot of dedication, a lot of leadership. i think that is the case here. we have the experience of women being in the service. we've seen them in combat as the general pointed out. i think that gives us a head start. i feel very confident we can make this work. >> what are the necessary gender
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-- [indiscernible] >> the issue of that is the issue of standards. if you think about the difference between counterinsurgency and conflict on the current peninsula. it is a different environment that requires a different level of physical stam ma. we want to make sure we get the standards right. we don't want to over engineer them either, they ought to be fair. then we allow individuals of any sex to compete for the position. >> is it just physical standards? >> no, it not just physical standards. the standards we have for occupational -- for these military occupations or the military calls them ratings they including the from mental standards to physical standards. but physical standards are the
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one that people focus on. >> what about privacy? >> we can fix out privacy. by the way, desert shield, desert storm 1991 h we did live in that environment where we were somewhat in the zests and we figured out privacy. we can do that. >> the fact is, women are now in the ranks and that was the concern of the time. but we've been able to adapt to that situation. women are fighter pilots, air force, navy, have moved in that direction. marines and the army, obviously are going to move in the same direction. they are going to be -- there
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will have to be some add justments in some situations. based on the sberns -- experience that we already have we make those adjustments. >> it sounds like there might be combat operational situations where women might be excluded from still. what would be the reasons for that? what sorts of operations -- >> i wouldn't put in the terms of operations. as we look at the requirements for a spectrum of conflict. we really need to have standards that apply all of those. importantly though, if we decide a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn't make it the burden is on the service to come back and explain why is it that high? does it have to be that high? with the direct combat exclusion we never to do have that
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conversation. >> your personal opinion as if women maybe able to serve, especially those as navy seals? >> if you look back at what i've said when i was the chief staff, i think we all believe that thereby women who can meet those standards. the other part of the equation, of course, is in order to account for their safety and success in those kinds of units. we have to have enough of them so they have mentors and leaders above them. you don't want to take one woman who can meet a standard and put her in a particular unit. the issue there would bnts privacy it would be where to have upward mobility if she's one of one. we have to work both the standards and the kind of critical mass, if you will, to make this work. that is our commitment. >> by the way, that's why i
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asked services to provide a plan that would be presented in may of this year. it will point out exactly how this is to be implemented. >> briefly about president obama's involvement with this discussion, how hutch was he involved? >> we had the opportunity to meet with the president usually every week, depend on his schedule. but we met with him individually to go over issues. over the past year, i have regularly briefed the president on what was going on with regards to this issue that we had opened up the additional positions that we're looking at providing even more opportunities to women. he was very supportive. >> i would like to add, he was supportive and always encouraged us to ensure that whatever we did, it made the force better
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and made and assured readiness. he is alert to the fact that the armed forces have to be ready. >> is it possible that -- earlier you said it was your experience traveling around and seeing these women in these positions. it was in the last 18 months -- >> well, at the c.i.a., i tell you that, you know, we were at a point where close to 50% of the people working there are women. for me it was really reassuring to see young men and women were equally debt caded to the intelligence services. then coming here to the army and going out and seing that firsthand, it was again, something for me, was a special
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experience. i thought, you know, america stands for giving young people those kinds of opportunities. if they can do the job, if they can meet the standards, if they can meet, you know, the qualifications that are involved here, there is no reason why they should not have a chance. that is a fundamental belief of me and i think that is a fundamental belief of the american people. >> today, the british, french, and the dutch are pulling their citizens out of benghazi saying there is a threat. is the u.s. going to help at all getting citizens out and because you certainly would want civilians to be safe. what is this threat in benghazi? secondly, on algeria, can you
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update us on who may have been responsible? do you view that they have rejoined forces? do you think there is involvement as what secretary clinton said yesterday? >> on benghazi, it is no mystery that it is a dangerous situation there. everybody in that area, i think is very concerned that they can't provide the security necessary to protect people in those places. i think that is why these countries have made the decision that they have made. as far as i know, we have not been asked to participate in moving anybody out of benghazi. >> i will pick up the rest of
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the question. the way to think about the north africa and west africa is a sind kit of groups who come together when it is convenient to them in order to advance their cause. sometimes their cause is terrorism, sometimes it is trafficking. in algeria and mali, it is aqim and there is a group out there and they work together when it is convenient to them. what we have to be alert to is as we look at the individual groups or the individual countries we have to acknowledge the connective tissue there. that takes us to a regional
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strategy not necessary a country specific strategy. >> with regard to algeria and what happened there. the qim did take credit for what took place. as of this moment, have not been able to look at the specifics of who was involved, who took place. we understand the algerians are questioning two individuals that they were able to capture during this operation. so we're hoping we will get better information from them specifically as to who was involved. >> if i could quickly follow-up. you and the president have said in the cases of benghazi and algeria that you would go after the perpetrators, that americans were killed. how do you do that in north africa when you have this mix?
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can you still promise that you're going to get the perpetrators of these two incidents that killed americans? >> i can assure you, if we find out who the perpetrators were we're going to go after them. that will be the first challenge is to determine precisely who was involved here. americans were killed. we don't stand by when americans are killed and not take action. without getting into specifics we will take whatever action is necessary to go after these people. >> you both said this decision will make the military stronger. there will be and there are critics of that premises. can you give us examples on how putting women in the most physically demanding situations will make our military forces stronger?
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>> let me not limit it to military. i graduated from west point in 1974. it was an all-male institution. i came back in 1976 to get married and i watched the first class of women enter. i wondered what that would be like. i went back to teach and found the academy a better place than it was when i was there. it became better in almost every way. it was just a better place. and i attribute to the fact that we opened up the academy to women. secondly, we had this ongoing issue with sexual harassment, sexual assault, i believe it is because we have separate classes of military personnel, at some
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level. it is far more complicated than that. but when you have one part of the population that is designated as warriors then you have another part designated as something else i think that disparity establishes a psychology that in some cases led to that environment. i believe that the more we treat people equally, the more likely they are to treat each other equally. >> is there any thought in changing the selective service requirements so that young women at age 18 will have to -- if we were to reintroduce the draft -- and is it safe to say this was your idea to go forward with these changes? >> no, when it comes to an issue like this, this was a team effort. it was, you know, the joint
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chiefs and i, we have the opportunity to meet almost every other week. sometimes we did meet every week in the tank to talk about these issues. opening up opportunities for men and women in the military has always been something we've talked about. they expressed an interest in it, i expressed an interest in it and we worked together to ensure that we take steps to do that. i, basically -- general dempsey and i looked at each other and i said look, we both know that we want to be able to open these opportunities up. but i want to make sure that you and the military, you know, really are the one who is are the movers with regards to this idea. they got to support it, they have to back it up.
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to their credit, they are the ones that came forward with the recommendation. i was very pleased when i got that recommendation because it was a fulfillment to what we talked about and what we want to achieve. with regard to selective service, that is not our operation. i don't know who the hell drols that, if you want to know the truth. whoever does they have to exercise some judgment based on what we just did. >> what specialties were open today, none, we just made the announcement. give us a break we need time to sort it out. >> president obama called secretary panetta before the news briefing and they issued a statement reading in part "today, by moving to open more
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military positions -- including ground combat units -- to women, our armed forces have taken another historic step to toward harning the atlantas and skills of all our military personnel ." throughing or rethroughing a ban on military-style sexual weapons and high-capacity magazines. joining some members of congress, law enforcement officials and members of gun safety organizations. this is an hour and 15 minutes. >> i want to thank all of you for coming today and i want to welcome you. this is a tough battle, so welcome. i'm pleased to be joined this morning by a cross section of
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americans who have been affected by gun violence. we have with us today, police chiefs, mayors, teachers, doctors, members of the clergy, mothers, gun safety groups, victims of gun violence and many others who care deeply about this issue. i would really like to thank my colleagues in the senate and the house who have chosen to stand together on this important issue. some of us have been working to prevent gun violence for decades. together we're introducing legislation to help in the mass shootings that have devastated countless familyings and terrorized communities. you will hear from my colleagues in the senate. senator durbin, part of the leadership in the democratic side. senator schumer from new york who helped me in 1993 by headlining, or i should say
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leading the effort in the house of representatives which was successful. senators blumenthal and chris murphy, distinguished senators from connecticut who know first-hand about sexual weapons. you will hear from congresswoman mccarthy from new york. as well as congressman ed perlmutter from colorado who represents aurora. s also congresswoman esty who respects newtown. you will hear from commissioner charles ramsey of the philadelphia police department, the current president of the major police chiefs association who will speak about the display of weapons you see to my left.
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finally, we will hear from victims of recent mass shootings. i would like to recognize supporters who are here today. on the risers behind me we have police officers from several departments and i so thank you for joining us today. [applause] i would also like to recognize a million moms for gun control who are represented by mrs. sandberg today. doctors for america and the american federation of teachers. now i would like to introduce reverend gary hall to open this morning with a few remark and a prayer. >> thank you, senator feinstein.
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it is an honor to be here today to share in the work that you and your colleagues are doing. i spoken twice at washington national cathedral on gun violence. i have done it in the media and in conversations with people of my own church. have come to the end of the preaching part and we move forward to the tangible solution as we stand with senator feinstein as they introduce this assault weapons ban. as people of faith, we have a moral obligation to stand with and for the victims of gun violence and to work to end it. we have tolerated school shootings and mall shootings and theater shootings, and sniper shootings and workplace shootings and temple and
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neighborhood shootings for far too long. enough is enough. everyone in this city seem to live in terror of the gun lobby. i believe the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby especially when we stand together as people of all faiths. i don't want to take away someone's hunting rifle but i can't justify a society that allows people other than military and police to own weapons like these or permits the sale of high-capacity magazines designed with the purpose of killing as many people as quickly as possible. on behalf of all my inner faith colleagues, who i stand here and represent today, i ask that you join me in a brief moment of prayer as we come together around these middle of the road, common sense, legal actions
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being proposed today. let us pray. oh, god you made human beings in your image and you give us hearts to feel the pain of others and minds to create solutions for human suffering. give us as the people, a compassion and vision, help us to respond to crisis of gun violence with not only words but with action. bless our elective leaders with the wisdom and courage needed to bring about the changes that their people demand. grant in so doing our streets and classrooms and our theaters and our churches maybe peaceful and safe. we ask all this in god's holy name. amen. >> thank you very much. like all of you here today, i remain horrified by the mass
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murder committed at sandy hook elementary in newtown, connecticut. i'm also incensed that our weak gun laws allow these mass killings to be carried out again and again in our country. weapons designed originally for the military to kill large numbers of people in close combat are replicated for civilian use. they fall into the hands one way or another of killers, of gangs of those who are mentally unstable or ill. they are sold out of trunks and back seats of automobiles in cities. as well a gun shows with no questions asked. massacres have taken place in businesses, law practices, malls, movie theaters and
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especially schools. these massacres don't seem to stop. they continue on. columbine, virginia tech, aurora, tucson, oak creek. the common thread is n these shootings is that each gunman usedal semi-automatic assault weapon or large capacity magazines. military-style assault weapons have but one purpose and in my view that is a military purpose to hold at the hip if possible, to kill large numbers. since the last assault weapons ban expired in 2004, and in the 10 years it was in place, no one took it to court. more than 350 people have been killed with assault weapons. more than 450 have been injured. we should be outraged by how
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easy it is for perpetrators of these horrific crimes to obtain powerful military-style weapons. today, my colleagues and i are introducing a bill to prohibit the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of these feeding devices that can accept more than 10 rounds. let me describe the legislation. we prohibit 158 specifically named military-style firearms. since the 1994 law expired, there has been an influx of new models of assault weapons. these models are more powerful, more lethal and more tech technically advanced they they were in 1993.
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our bill also prohibits other semi-automatic rifles of shotguns and rifles that can accept a detachable magazines. one criticism of the 1994 law was that it was a two characteristic test that defined it and that was too easy to work around. manufactures could remove one of the characteristics and the firearm was legal. the bill we're introducing today, will make it much more difficult to work around by moving a one characteristic test. the bill also prevents and prohibits specific loopholes, such as the slide iron stock which can be added to an ar15. which will make it mimic automatic weapons and it is
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legal. bullet buttons, these are modifications can make it easy for manufactures to avoid the law. the bill prohits semi automatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds. a ban on importation of assault weapons and large capacity magazines. elimination of the 10 year sunset. let me tell you what to be will not do. it will not affect hunting or sporting firearms. instead the bill protects hunters and sportsman by protecting 2,200 specifically named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes. they are by make and model exemplet from the legislation. when we did this bill in 1993,
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there was 375. today there are 2,200. it includes grandfathered weapons to a background check. we have tried to learn from the bill. we have tried to recognize legal hunting rights, we have tried to recognize legal defense rights. we have tried to recognize the right of a citizen to legally possess a weapon. no weapon is taken from anyone. the purpose is to dry up the supply of these weapons over time. therefore, there is no sunset on this bill. i would like now to introduce in my view, a wonderful women. she's a leader in the fight. she's a victim of gun violence
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herself and she is our lead house co-sponsor. the distinguished representative from the great state of new york carolyn mccarthy. [applause] >> thank you very much. you think after all these years being in congress and fighting for this issue i wouldn't be nervous standing here in front of all of you. this battle has been a very lonely battle for many, many years. i think a lot of the victims that are out there, a lot of groups that have been fighting for this for so long probably felt that way. but when you look over here and senator feinstein came because of gun violence that she witnessed. senator schumer who took the lead when i wasn't in congress,
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doing all the work he could to get the first assault weapons bill done. senator durbin, my colleague, the mayors, the police chiefs and everybody behind me, all of you. you know, a lot of words can be said and i have a great speech here and my staff worked on it for a long time. but i'm probably going to do what they tell me not to do which is talk from my heart. i met so many victims over the years. in congress, nobody wanted to touch the issue. the last several years the massacres were going on more and more. and going through it, i kept saying what is wrong with all of us?
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how many people have to be killed before we do something? i thought for sure after the virginia tech we would get something done. aurora, but something happened in newtown. people of america said how could this happen? how could this happen to our children? you know when we have been meeting with the n.r.a. over the last few weeks. trying to find how we could work together, it's been frustrating but i still have great hope. but to be honest with you, i'm not going to trust them to be
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there for the tough votes. that's why all of us and the president, by the way, and the vice president biden, and those of us who are going to be fighting for this, are going to spread the word to the corners of this country. n.r.a. members have been speaking out to get something done. these are good law-abiding citizens. they want to hunt. they want to go duck hunting. the guns they use in duck hunting you're allowed three bullets. deer hunting, depending on what state you're in, only allows five bullets. most hunters tell you if you don't get it on the first try you probably won't get it on the second one. yet, we have these machine, we have large magazines that can
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take down 20 children in seconds. the only reason that will slaughter stopped because our first responders were there and the killer ended up taking his life. some people will say this bill won't work. let me tell you why it will work. because if you don't have these gun and the large magazines on the shelves, those who have done these horrific killings wouldn't be able to go into a gun store and buy them. they don't have the background to go and look where the black market is to be able to buy these magazines and guns. they go to the simplest place. if they are not in the stores they can't be bought. think of the lives that could be
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saved. a lot of people in this audience whose families have gone through a killing in their family, losing a child, losing a husband, losing a wife and they were single killings. we must do something to stop that also. this is only the beginning. we are going to be working on a holistic approach. we should be looking at how we can help our young people so they don't go into the world of drugs. we should be helping those children that might be having psychological problems so they don't feel like they have to take a gun to either commit suicide or take down some of their classmates. you're going to hear from some on the opposite side of many of us that it can't be done. i'm telling you it can be done.
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i'm telling you with all my heart and soul it can be done. but we, as the president had said, the people have to make those decisions. newtown made a difference. the killing there made us look into ourselves and say why can't we do something about that? i'm telling you between this battle, between now and when we get this passed you're going to hear from the n.r.a. there's a lot of them saying it is not going to do anything. i'm saying to you we can save lives. think about this, since newtown, just about 1,000 people have died from guns. 1,000 people.
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those children, their dreams, the dreams of even those that have died through other violence , never to be fulfilled. the day that incident happened i actually was giving an interview. it was just a reporter following up on how i do get through the holidays. she said to me, oh my god, do you have the tv on? that was the beginning of my nightmare again. that is for every victim every single time we hear of a killing. it has to stop. it has to stop. we can do it and we can make a difference. we can save thousands and thousands of lives. i would be remiss if i did not say those that have survived
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those horrific shootings as my son did so many years ago. his life will never be the same. how much it has cost this country on health care to take care of those victims. that is what this country is facing. we have to look at each other and say yes, we can do this. we will do the right thing. our police officers will do the right thing. but if the american people don't stand up to the lies that are being said that we can't do anything about gun violence, who loses? the future of our children, they are the ones that lose. we can do this. please, be out there for us. thank you. [applause]
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>> i just told her thank you, that was super. i would like to introduce the senators who will be speaking and i will introduce them at one time then they will follow one another. senator durbin is part of the democratic leadership. he's been a great champion of the cause over many years. is also a member of the judiciary committee to which this bill will go. senator chuck schumer who carried the original assault bill in the house. he knows this issue backwards and forward. connecticut senators, richard blumenthal and chris murphy who have been so diligent in comforting the families of newtown. gentleman, if you would come forward. thank you. >> thank you, senator feinstein.
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i want to thank you for your commitment to this issue over the years. i want to thank my colleague and friend senator schumer for the same. and carolyn mccarthy your words touch our hearts as so many victims who stand and fight for change do. she did more than just speak out, she ran for office to make sure her voice would be heard in the halls of congress. i want to also thank those who are here today, particularly law enforcement. we cannot do this without you. we need to have your validation on what we're seating out today. so many others families, victims, faith community who are stepping up now. this is not an issue of constitution, it is an issue of conscience. we have one basic question that is being asked today, which i
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hope we can answer, what does it take? what does it take to move a nation? what does it take to move a congress? we know of the thousands of victims of gun violence. we certainly know that not that long ago there was a tragedy in arizona where one of our own at a town meeting was shot point-blank in the face. others were killed in the same location. even that incident did not move us to act. what does it take? it took 20 children in newtown, connecticut and six others showing intruder courage risk their lives to -- showing courage to risk their lives.
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that could be my son, that could be my grandson. it made a difference. it was the tipping point in this national conversation. i will never forget when dick blumenthal and chris murphy came back to tell us first-hand what they saw in newtown, connecticut. dick will mention this in his remark, he talked about standing off to the side with the parents and parents would rush to grab their babies, hug them, knowing they were safe. but at the end of the day, there were 20 parents standing alone. that's what it took. the question is, what will we do about it? what can we do about it? we can only do as much as the american people help us do. we need to have their support. their silence can't win this
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issue. they have to speak out. in the month after newtown, connecticut, where 26 innocent lives were lost to this automatic weapon and a person who never should have owned it, we had 26 killed on the streets of chicago. victims of gun violence. the tragedy continues to repeat itself. when i met the superintendent of police in chicago and talked about this he brought with him a piece of evidence, much like you will see here. it was an ooze city. the night before that was used on the streets of chicago and thank god it jammed after one round. thank goodness, no one was hurt or killed. that is what this debate is about. let me close by saying there is another group we need in this conversation. we need responsible hunters and
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sportsman to support us. i grew up in illinois and there are plenty of hunters and sportsman in my family. they value this part of their american tradition. they use their guns safely. they store their guns safely and responsibly. they comply with every aspect of a the law. they shake their head when they hear the gun lobby speak for them saying things they don't believe. that you will need a weapon like this to go to hunt or target practice. we need them to step up. we need their voices part of this conversation. for the critics that say there is no law that will stop all of this. that's true. if it can save a life, if it is spare a tragedy, it is worth our support and our effort. [applause]
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>> thank you and thank you senator durbin for your words. i would like to particularly thank my friend and colleague senator feinstein. she has been amazing in this issue. never forgets it, we have talked about -- probably every month since the ban expired about how we can get it done. the fact that she is leading this issue gives us a lot of faith and, of course our respect for you. i would like to say a word about carolyn mccarthy who goes to bed every night thinking about what happened to her families and who lights a canadale instead of cursing the darkness. senator feinstein and i have a long history of working. in 1994, we bassed the original crime bill that eliminated assault weapons.
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it made an incredible dent in the violence that was plaguing our country. now times have changed. so have the capabilitieses to those who would do us harm. i applaud senator feinstein drafting a smart and updated version sophisticate the assault weapons ban. it comes down to this, assault weapons were designed for and should be used on our battle fields, not on our streets. and some don't get that. you know we can have a rarble discussion about bills like this. the heller decision paves the way. it says there is a second amendment right to bear arms and it should be respected just as
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the third, fourth, amendments should be. it means that none of us, none of us want to take away the hunting rifle that uncle tom ideal gave you when you were 14 years old. we don't want to do that. we don't want to take away a side arm that a business owner feels they need in a drowls neighborhood. but the decision had a second part written by a conservative court joirt. it said there's a reasonable limitation on the second amendment. just as there are reasonable limitations on other amendments. the first amendment we love it, freedom of speech. but you can't falsely scream fire in a theet per that limits your first amendment ability to speak freely.
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we have antiimportant graphry y laws. all of those are limitations that are reasonable. the limitations and supported in senator feinstein are reasonable limitations. we know there is no right to own and operate 100-round clips on assault rifles. that is certainly within the framework of the heller decision where hopefully, both sides can meet in the middle. 100-round clips are not used in hunting, they are not used in self defense, they are used to maximize the amount of damage someone can do in this a short amount of time. if you looktality poll, american people understand -- look at the polls american people understand
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and they understand there should be reasonable limitations on the right to bear arms, to protect our safety. they are wondering why we're not doing anything to protect them. we saw in 1990's even the weakened assault weapons ban that senator feinstein passed helped to save lives. the new and improved bill will save many, many more. let's do everything we can to spare the heartache and loss that we've seen in connecticut, colorado, new york. will it be hard? for sure. we o-- owe to our constituents and our country to try. [applause]
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>> i wanted to join in the thanking all of you for being here in this historic occasion, a signature moment in this profoundly significant effort to achieve an end to gun violence in our country. i want to thank senator feinstein for her steadfast efforts as well as my senate colleagues. , state of connecticut' legislators in connecticut, and our governor, who have formed a powerful team in an effort to reduce gun violence and keep faith with the people of newtown. i would like to thank law- enforcement community here today. a r several decades, as
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federal prosecutor involved in law enforcement, i have listened to our police, prosecutors, law enforcement community. i have listened to them in numerous tragedies and they have said to me, do something about the guns. ban the assault weapons and prohibit the high-capacity magazines. a number of the police said to me, we could not have stopped that shooter. even with the body armor, with that kind of assault weapon shooting at us. law-enforcement community is outgunned by criminals and mentally ill people and domestic
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abusers who have assault weapons and should be separated from those weapons and from all weapons. i am listening to people of newtown. i was there the afternoon that parents arrived at the sandy hook fire house. i came there as a public official, but what i saw was through the eyes of a parent. i will never forget to the sights and sounds of that day i spent emerged from that fire house learning that their five and six-year-old children would not be coming home that night. swat team members who came from a schoolhouse hit in their
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hearts by the brutality and cruelty they saw. i am listening to people who have said to me, we have to do something about the guns. we need to keep faith with them. this measure would have helped prevent the tragedy. but for assault weapons like the once banned by this measure, hundreds and thousands of americans would be alive today. but for the high-capacity magazines that would be banned in their sales by this measure. americans and children and educators in newtown might well be alive today. this measure would ban these kinds of weapons that have been so destructive and so brutal in
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creating violence. this measure is more stringent than connecticut's ban and a would have prohibited the type of weapon used at newtown. it has to be seen as one step, part of a comprehensive strategy that also should include mental health initiatives, school security, and yes, background checks before all fire arms sales. gun shows, private sales, and background checks for all sales of ammunition. right now, a fugitive, a felon, a domestic abusers can walk into t -- re by a shopping marc no questions asked. we need to change that.
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newtown is a call to action and a call for real reform. my hope is that we will seize this moment with a sense of urgency and passion and sustain this momentum over the hard fight -- make no mistake, it will be a hard fight ahead. always remember newtown and keep faith with its victims. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you for leading this effort. to all of my colleagues, new and old, law enforcement, families. we were there that day and as a father of a four-year-old and a
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one-year-old, there are a lot of moments i wish i could take back what i saw. trying to understand what happened, make no mistake, the trauma is not abating. it is multiplying. in the tiny town like that when you take away the lives of 20 kids and six adults, many of which lived in tiny little neighborhoods, the brief continues. let me tell you what is happening today. sandy hook elementary school has moved. a lot of the teachers have not come back. a lot of the students have not returned. in each one of those classrooms, there is a safe word. in one third grade classroom, it
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is monkey. in a couple of times every day, a kid yells out that say ford when he gets into a conversation when he -- that safe word when he gets into a conversation that he does not want to be a part of. that is what has happened today. that is what happens in communities that deal with one of these atrocities. it is not just the family is to grieve -- who grieve. kids would be alive today if the law we are proposing today were in place on december 14 of last year. it is as simple as that. we know that because the data tells us, despite what the gun lobby will say, the first assault weapons ban worked.
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within nine years, there was a two-thirds drop in crimes committed with assault weapons. there was an overall drop in gun violence across the country by 7%. 40% of the mass shootings, a 40% in the history has happened since that assault weapons expired. more kids would be alive today if this law was on the books because we know what the numbers tell us but we also know what happened that day. we know most of these incidents and when the sugar has to reload. either the gun jams -- when the shooter has to reload. even gone jams -- the gun jams. adam lanze had to reload twice. things would have been different
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if that was nine or 10 or 11. second, there is a question as to buy their he would have even driven at his mother's car in the first place. it gave him a false sense of courage of what he did do that day. if this law was in place, there would be little girls and boys alive today. the gun lobby has said over and over again that this is a feel- good piece of legislation. they're right about that. it would feel really good if alison and charlotte and daniel and bolivia and josephine had got to enjoy christmas with their parents. it would feel good if kathrin and chase and jesse and james took the bus to school this morning.
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it will feel league -- it would go good if jack and caroline and jessica and ben were alive today. it would feel really good if parents across this country did not have to wake up every morning worrying without action, their kids were at risk, just like those kids. this is going to be hard. this is going to be difficult. to honor those 20 lives, we're going to get it done. thank you very much. [applause] >> i am so proud of the courage of my fellow legislators. would you give them a big round of applause, please? carolyn mccarthy, i think, gave
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such a poignant speech. her co-sponsors are going to say a few words. i have come to know -- he represents aurora, colorado. hopefully, he will tell you a little bit about it. and then the house member who represents the brave town of newtown. >> good morning. i lived in the suburbs of denver, colorado. on one side of my district is columbine high school appeared on the other side of my district is zero -- columbine high school. on the other side of my district is aurora, colorado. these events, these mass killings, the fact not just the
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people killed or wounded or the hundred traumatized by war in that theater that night, but whole communities. i know we have family members from tucson, a virginia tech, newtown here today. i want to read something that was sent to last yesterday's by some of the families of the aurora for victims. "our loved ones were murdered in the aurora, colorado, theatre on july 20. in one of the worst massacres in u.s. history by the exact weapons and high-capacity magazines that senator feinstein is addressing in her proposed legislation today. our loved ones were gunned down in an entire generation of our families take away in a matter of seconds. we listened to the 9/11 tapes
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played in courts and sad in agony as we heard of 30 shots fired within 27 seconds wondering if one of those bullets killed our children. ar15 was used in that massacre. in 2012, this nation's of 15 mass shootings in this and am a law-abiding people are dying violently -- innocent and law- abiding people are dying by nearly every day. we should not be a country whose firefighters to have to wear bulletproof vests to do their jobs. what have we become a as a nation when our family and friends are losing their lives just being at school, watching a movie, but going to church, shopping for groceries, buying christmas gets?
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-- gifts? our everyday freedoms are being taken away by packs of gun violence. thank you for working to stop this epidemic of violence. our lives begin to end the day we remain silent on things that matter -- our future, our lives, our children matter. " this letter is signed by families of seven of the people killed in iraq. this is a tough -- killed in aurora. this is a tough issue for all of us. there are constitutional implications for all of this. our responsibility as representatives and senate stores are to be advocates for the people we represent. we do not want to trample on
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second amendment rights. we believe that those rights exist to self-defense, hunting, sporting, but we have to do something about these mass killings. it is our responsibility. thank you for bringing it forward. thank you. [applause] >> good morning. i represented connecticut's fifth district. as a new member of congress who got started as a pta mom, a first grade room parent, this was an unbelievably sick -- difficult situation to walk into. i want to talk about the cost of inaction. rob is a volunteer firefighter.
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his wife, they have two children and the sandy hook school. he received a call that morning from his wife who had gone to the school to take some medication to their son. he got a call saying, there is a man coming towards me with a gun, i love you. and hung up the fund. that is what the people in connecticut are dealing with now. grace mcdonald's parents came to the white house last week. they gave a painting by their daughter. i know my friends and senators joined me in this unbelievably sad parade of funerals for six and seven-year-olds. eight of the girls were in the same girl scout troops.
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five of the boys were in the same boy scout troop. every graduation, every eagle scout ceremony, those families, and all of their friends, will be grieving. the pain is not over. what i have heard again and again when i have met with families and members of the community, and what i have heard in the letters and phone calls and e-mails from around the state and around america, we must take meaningful action to save lives. what happens in newtown on december 14 was an unspeakable tragedy. what happens now that is up to us. newtown must be a call to action before congress and for all americans who believe and who know that we can respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and at the same time, we
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can save lives. newtown has paid and is paying the price of inaction. because communities across this country and my sad, but growing community of congress, paying the price of political and action, because we can no longer sit by and let the loss of precious schoolchildren and courageous educators go unanswered. we cannot allow the loss of countless brothers and sisters and parents who were cut down every day by gun violence. it is time to act. it is time to renew and
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strengthen the assault weapons ban and that time is now. i am so proud to join congresswoman mccarthy, and helping to introduce this important legislation in the house of representatives. i want to thank my friends and colleagues, the senators from connecticut. and enormously to senator feinstein, schumer, and durban for their leadership. it is not just our battle. it is america's battle. what does it take? what does it take for us as a nation to act? i hope, i pray, and i believe that this is our wake-up call. it is our call as americans to
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act and to act now to save lives. thank you. [applause] >> i would like to introduce into great public servants. i have been privileged to be a mayor and to be part of the united states conference of mayors for nine years. the great merit of the city of philadelphia is here. he is the chairman of the united states conference of mayors, which has endorsed this legislation. i will be calling upon him in a moment. we also have the philadelphia police commissioner, charles ramsey, who was president of the major cities chiefs' association that also endorses this legislation. i would like to call on both of these distinguished gentlemen to come forward.
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>> good afternoon. thank you, senator feinstein, and members of the house and members of the senate here with us. i am honored that my own congressmen from philadelphia has joined us as well. and also are assembled. again, again, and again, americans have been stunned by senseless violence involving assault weapons and large capacity magazines. columbine, april 1999, 13 murder. virginia tech, able 2007, 32 murdered. tucson, january 2011, six murdered, 12 wounded, including
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gabrielle giffords. , july 2012, it 12 murdered. -- r. rhorer, july 2014, at 12 murdered. 12aurora, july 2012, murdered. mayors have expressed shock at mass shootings, even more frequently, many of us must cope with gun violence that occurs on the streets of our cities today after day after day after day. weapons of mass destruction are destroyed and their communities, at our streets, and families. i was sworn in in january of 2008 to my first term. on may 3, 2008, philadelphia
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police officer was killed with the naked -- with an ak-47. tell his wife michelle and their children why any civilian needs one of those weapons to be out on the streets of our cities. tell any mother or father or sister or brother or niece or nephew wide their family member is no longer with us because of those kinds of weapons. handguns with high-capacity magazines. why does anyone need one of those? this death and destruction must end right now. every day in america, 282 people are shots, 86 of them die, and 32 of them are murdered. every day, 50 children are
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shots, eight of them died, including five who are murdered. this must stop. the legislation would senator feinstein and others will help end the insanity. i am here to register the strong support of the u.s. conference of mayors for the assault weapons ban of 2013. we commend as an organization hundreds of mayors all across america, small, medium, large cities, we are committed to doing everything necessary to ensure this legislation becomes law. i have available for you today a letter are originally stamp three days after the newtown tragedy occurred in the house signed by 210 mayoress which
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calls on the president and congress to take immediate action to make reasonable changes in our gun laws and regulations. listed first in that letter was our recommendation for the enactment of legislation to ban assault weapons and high- capacity magazines that has now been presented by senator dianne feinstein and others. when she discussed this bill and her commitment to passing it, senator feinstein described herself as "a former mayor on a mission." you have an array of current mayoress on a mission standing with you ready to do what ever is necessary to make sure this bill becomes law. let's move forward. thank you. [applause]
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>> thank you very much, senator feinstein. your colleagues in both the senate and the house of representatives members here today in support of this legislation. i am speaking on behalf of the major city chiefs association. the major city chiefs is an organization made up of the 63 largest cities in the united states. i have the honor of serving as president of the organization. i also served as president as the police executive research forum. we stand solidly behind this legislation. on my way down here, i was on the train and i received a call from bart johnson, the largest of all the police organizations. unfortunately, they could not be here today.
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they wanted me to pass on to you their full support for this legislation. i also see colleagues in the audience, members of both the major city chiefs as well as the national organization of black law enforcement executives, a baltimore county, the chair of the national prevention for gun violence, thank you for being here as well. i am also here to speak for myself. i have been and law enforcement for more than 40 years. as a member of the chicago police department, i spent 30 years in that department. i spent nine years as police chief in washington, d.c., and for the last five years, i'd been police commissioner in philadelphia. i have seen a lot of violence over that period of time. nothing compared to the devastation caused by assault
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weapons. i was doing an interview not too long ago, one of our local news stations, we had a homicide in philadelphia. it was day gruesome scene with multiple shell casings. one of the reporters -- when was the last time he went to a crime scene where he only saw one shell casings on the ground? and he could not remember. and i can remember. i do not think people really understand firepower that is out there on the street. our offices have to face every day and citizens have to face every day. to my left is a display of weapons. i do not claim to be an expert. i am an expert in terms of understanding the carnage that they cause on the streets of our city. four of those weapons i want to
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sing aloud because there what examples of the kinds of actual weapons that were used -- singled out because they were what examples of the kinds of actual weapons they were used. the military style assault weapon was used in the newtown massacre. that is in the center of the metal panel. the 33 around extended magazine, the one used in tucson, ariz., where congressman difference was shot and six people were murdered. smith and wesson -- the assault rifle used in aurora, colorado, and when 12 people were shot dead. that is on your left at the very top. this assault pistol used in a san francisco shooting in which eight people were dead.
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one of the more commonly sees to firearms off the streets of our various cities. time for us to do something, folks. this is legislation that is needed. it is not the only thing that is needed. we have to go beyond an assault weapons ban. our streets are hemorrhaging out there and we have a responsibility to do something. we have been to this before. there's an awful lot of conversation around gun violence. every time you have a massacre like newtown, columbine, you name it, the list goes on and on. after about two or three weeks, it starts to quiet down a little bit. and it is business as usual and the lobbyists began to quietly go about trying to influence the outcome of any legislation. 20 children slaughtered at one
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time in a schoolhouse in the town many of us never even heard of until this happened. a town that you would not expect something like this to take place. it is the slaughter of 28 babies does not capture and hold your attention, then i give up because i do not know what else will. we have to pass legislation. we cannot allow the legislation to get so watered down and filled with loopholes that it is meaningless. this is the start, folks. look at this. tell me why any of this needs to be on the streets of our cities. if you can tell me that, i will listen to you. i do not think any of you can. there is absolutely no reason. they were not meant to be in philadelphia, aurora, colorado, san francisco. they were not made for that. how're you going to go hunting
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with something like that? we listened to all of these arguments. i have been in this business for more than 40 years and i can tell you, you do not know what you prevent. we deal with what we did not prevent for the most part. i also believe that we make a difference. the laws we have on the books in this country make a difference. if something is simple as a safety lock had been on that weapon used in newtown, we probably would not be here today. the shooter would not have that access to that firearm. we cannot even get simple legislation passed to report guns lost or stolen, c'mon. we're not trying to seize everybody's guns, but we need reasonable gun control in this country.
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guess what -- it will happen again. [applause] thank you. thank you for being here. this is just the start. we have to remain vigilant and we have to pay attention to what is going not. the organizations i represent, we will do anything we can to help you see this through. [applause] >> because we are in the halls of congress, it is easy to forget the very real human face of gun violence. we have asked a few victims to come forward and they will introduce themselves. they will tell you what happened to them very briefly. i hope you will go away seeing
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how human an issue this is. how america really need to stand up and in it. would you all please come forward? here -- sorry. >> hello. on the morning of april 16, 2007, i received a phone call from my daughter. she said, mommy, i have been shot. we learned that the shooter's weapon was equipped with a high- capacity magazine. our family fully supports the assault weapons ban of 2013.
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thank you. [applause] >> my name is pam simon. standing with me as my husband. i was on the staff of gabrielle giffords. on the morning of january 8, 2011, i was standing a few feet from the congresswomen when i was shot in the chest and the arm. on that day, 30 bullets were delivered in less simon. than 30 seconds. killing six, including my staff member and dear friend and wounding 13 others, including one of your own. we fully support this legislation. thank you so much. [applause] >> i was one of the survivors in
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the shooting at a virginia tech in 2007. i was shot above my left knee. i was shot in both of my hips and through my right shoulder. i am here on behalf of the 32 to did not make it that dave. -- who did not make it that day. >> my sister followed me to virginia tech just after i graduated. she was an 18-year-old freshman, 4.0 student. over 50 people were killed in a matter of minutes in virginia tech that morning. the gunmen had a 30 round magazine clips. it devastated my family, we support this legislation. we know many other americans who
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have been through this supported as well. thank you, the senators and representatives. [applause] >> i was a survivor -- sorry. thank you. i was injured at virginia tech. i have a bullets -- i was shocked in the jaw. -- shot in my jaw. it is still there. i suffered so much pain. i am still undergoing medical process. it will be long term care. my family has suffered, it just like the other families have suffered.
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sandy hook is a wake-up call and we need to support sensible legislation on gun safety. thank you, senator feinstein. thank you for all of you for being strong leaders. [applause] >> my father was a professor and taught engineering at virginia tech. he was killed on the morning -- my father was killed on the morning of april 16, 2007. i did not know that the shootings were going on until noon because i was in class. my mother had the unfortunate task of telling both me and my 13-year-old sister that we did
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not have a father. he would not be coming home. i cannot tell you or describe the amount of pain and suffering that not only my family or friends have experienced, but the community of blacksburg, our fellow survivors. i cannot begin to describe how when pour into this legislation is and how much your support -- important this legislation is and how much your support would mean in general. thank you. [applause] >> my name -- i am here on behalf of my father. he was killed last september in a workplace shooting in minneapolis along with five other dads. my family supports the legislation to ensure that these
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kinds of tragedies do not happen and so they do not have to get the call that their father or mother or brother or sister or a child's will not be coming home that night. i want to thank you for your leadership. [applause] >> this is a picture of me and my mother earth that i gave my mom by sophomore year of high school. my parents for returning a boat in california may 30, 2005. a man with a history of violence and easy access to weapons shot my dad three times and shot and killed my mother. i cannot express the importance of this and other legislation and i cannot express enough thanks to all of you for everything that you do. [applause]
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>> this afternoon, in a sense, i will be introducing this bill -- in the senate, i will be introducing this bill. carolyn mccarthy will introduce it in the house. ladies and gentlemen, we have done our best to craft a responsible bill to ban these assault weapons. donne's designed for military use -- guns designed for military use but all over this country and often used for mass murder. this is really an uphill road. if anyone asked today, can you win this? the answer is, we do not know. there is one great hope out there and that is you. you are stronger than the gun lobby. you are stronger than the gun
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manufacturers. only if you stand up, if ameriprise is op, if people care enough to call every -- if america rises up, if people care enough to call every member of the house and senate and say, we have had enough. these weapons do not belong on the streets of our towns and cities, our schools, workplaces, movie theaters. enough is enough. we cad win vespa. it depends on america and it -- we can win vespa. it depends on america and it depends on the courage of america. thank you so much for if being here. [applause] >> louisiana governor and the
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republican national committee's winter meeting. he is expected to discuss the current state and future of the republican party. he has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2016. hear his comments live today at 7:30 on c-span. here is a look at our prime-time schedule on the c-span networks. at 8:00, senator john kerry testifies before the foreign relations committee on his nomination to be the next secretary of state. defense secretary leon panetta announces what the defense department is lifting its ban on women serving in combat. remarks from homeland security tenets napolitano on cyber security, strengthening surveillance along the border, and the department's agenda in the second term. it all begins tonight at 8:00 on the c-span and networks.
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>> what is the best training for a policeman? >> the best training you can get to become a really good police officer, you'll learn how to develop sources, you learn how to develop and used intelligence information, you learn how to leverage relationships in the community. people in the community trust to you, they will tell you things that are happening when they are not yet crimes and you can intervene. i really learned the most of my career from those relationships. >> from high school dropout and single mother to the youngest police chief in washington, d.c., history, more with cathy lanier sunday night at 8:00. >> john kerry secretary of state confirmation hearing will air in
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its entirety at 8:00 eastern on c-span. he testified in front of the senate foreign relations committee. here is a portion of that hearing it now. >> i really appreciate your thoughtful opening statement. i appreciate your thoughts for response to these questions. i have a great deal of respect for your level of experience and your knowledge of these areas. i would have enjoyed working with you. i want to have a close working relationship with you, sir. these are complex issues and dangerous times. i grew up hoping -- i am not sure it ever was. it is something we can aspire to. i believe we share the same goals. we want a secure america. i think that starts being open and honest with each other.
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i hate to go back to yesterday's news. yesterday, when i was asking a relatively simple question. secretary clinton's reaction -- what difference does it make? i had run out of time so i did not have time to answer the question. i think it makes a big difference. i think it matters a great deal that the american people get the truth. i think they have the right to be told the truth. i think they have the right to know what happens. it makes a big difference whether or not the american people have the confidence that the president and the administration is being truthful with them. do you agree with that? are you willing to work with? or do you agree with hillary clinton that that is yesterday's
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news? >> senator, if you're trying to get some daylight between me and secretary clinton, that is not going to happen. you are talking past each other. that was not the question. if your question is, should the american people get the truth and does it matter, hillary clinton would say yes. and i say yes. that is not what she was referring to. what she was referring to, the question of, the sequencing and the timing, and how particular information came in with respect to the talking points on the public statements that were made. there was a difference of opinion as to how you saw that burris is how she saw that. >> we could have avoided all this controversy.
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by just making a couple of phone calls. as chairman of the committee, did you make any phone calls? did you ascertain whether -- >> i do not want to go back and we litigate the events that took place. i made phone calls, i was in constant touch with the state department. i was talking to the undersecretary and others immediately. we were involved in what was happening and -- >> house and did you know that there were no protests? -- how soon did you know that there were no protests? >> senator, the intel i got and that i was told by people was that there were no protests there were no protests in
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benghazi, but there were protests in cairo. >> that was not the issue. is there reason we would not have those security people testifying before us? >> there is no reason down the road, i would assume. for the moment, i know there is an fbi investigation going on because i personally call the fbi director. i was told they're making progress and some things may or may not be a right to take place in the not too distant future. >> will you work with me so that we can get that behind us? we can move beyond that. can you make that commitment to me? >> in all fairness, we do know what happened. it is very clear -- were you at
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the briefing with the tapes? >> no. >> there was a briefing with tapes, which we all saw. it made it crystal clear. we sat for several hours with our intel folks to describe to us precisely what we were seeing. we saw all of the evidence unfolds. we had a very complete detailed description. >> we know what happened in benghazi. we do not know why we were misled. i am looking to make sure you will work with me so we do find out what the administration nail. >> in fairness, i do not want the american people to be left with this impression. why were we misled -- that implies an intent to mislead you somehow. there was a description of the variance and talking points. i do not know why that happened. >> will you help us get to the bottom of why that happened?
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then we can move on. i want to get that behind us. >> the state department will continue to cooperate, as it has come in every respect. any committee of relevant jurisdiction. >> a portion of senator kerrey's testimony in friend the senate foreign relations committee. he has been nominated to be secretary of state. there could be about on the nomination late next week. c is entire confirmation hearing tonight at 8:00 on c-span. >> the senate health and education committee holds a hearing on the state of america's mental health care services. officials from the obama administration examine current challenges focusing on the relationship between mental health and gun violence. this is 2.5 hours.
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>> of the committee on health and education will please come to order. my first order of business this morning is to extend a warm welcome to our committees new members. i also want to salute our new ranking member, senator alexander. he is a valuable member of this committee. i have appreciated my relationship with a former ranking member. i look forward to the same kind of close collaboration
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partnership with my good friend. our committee will examine a range of issues surrounding mental health care in this country. the tragic shooting in connecticut last month brought the issue of mental health care to the forefront. many people across the nation have said we need to take a long look at access to mental health services across the country. i am pleased to have this opportunity to start the dialogue. i am told this is a first hearing that this committee of jurisdiction has had on this issue since 2007. it is long overdue. what of the most insidious stereotypes about people with mental illnessto the forefront. is that they are inherently violent. i regret that some of the discussion in the wake of the newtown tragedy has sadly reinforce the stereotype. people with mental illness are much more likely to be the victims of violent crimes than they are to be perpetrators of actual violence. mental health conditions are sometimes called the nation
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silent epidemic. mental illness affects one in four individuals every year. there is still a stigma attached with mental illness and results with too many people suffering in silence. it also can stop workers from requesting and getting accommodations that can help them be more productive at work. i have known so many instances of people who were afraid to do anything because they might lose their jobs or they would not get promoted because ofi that stick my that is attached. like many other chronic diseases, mental health problems began as a young age. experts tell us a half of all mental illness as manifest by age 14. less than half of children with an identified mental health and illness receive children -- receive treatment. the average latin time is almost a decade.
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-- lag time is almost a decade. this lack of treatment has huge consequences. 30,000 americans die by suicide each year. this is a shocking fact that people with serious mental illnesses die with significantly earlier. these consequences also spilled into other areas. as any teacher or school counselor will tell you, a child struggling with depression, anxiety, is also likely to struggle academically. it is also an issue for our justice system. since our presence become a dumping ground for people who should be receiving substance- abuse counseling or mental health counseling instead. i have had a number of sheriff's in my own state as well as other states tell me that their jails
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are the defacto mental institutions in their states. the shame and this is with access -- most people -- we need to make the critical investments that will enable us -- this to happen. as the chairman of the labor health and human services appropriations subcommittee, i plan to take a close look at funding opportunities in this area. we have made important steps forward in recent years. my friends fought for years to try to enact a mental health act t. we finally pass that in 2008. however, i am sad to say it has been for years -- four years that we do not have any final
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rules on implementing the slot. that is a shame. -- ie told the president's do not know what soon means, but i hope it means what we take it to mean. which means soon. [laughter] another critical step will take place next year. 30 million americans will become eligible for medicaid or private insurance to the health-care exchanges. coverage of mental health and substance abuse disorder services is one of the 10 essential benefits required in qualified health plans. the insurance expansion of first challenges and opportunities. experts predict that the newly insured population will have a greater need for mental health coverage. as we think about how to meet this need, there's an opportunity to realign our health-care system to better integrate primary care and mental health services. in reading of the testimony last
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evening of our witnesses, many of our witnesses spoke about that, this integration of primary care and mental health services. this committee has been very supportive of the expansion of community health centers. they have been a great addition, they are wonderful primary care providers. how do we integrate mental health care services in with those community health care services? 50 years ago, president kennedy signed the act of 1963, which led to a major shift. people who -- the results were mixed. many people were not able to access the community-based services and treatment they needed. as we face new changes in health care landscape, i hope we will learn from these lessons. see how we might more fully
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utilize the community to help center system in america to integrate primary care and mental health services. today, we will hear from a panel of expert witnesses who will talk about mental health care from a variety of perspectives. thank you for being here. i look forward to your testimony. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your courtesy. i look forward to working with you. we have worked well together in the past. this is a very important committee with a large jurisdiction. i am delighted to have a chance to be the ranking member. i want to say how much i appreciate his leadership and we expect to continue as time goes along. i want to thank the chairman for having this hearing


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